Understanding Circadian Sleep Disorders (Part 2)

June 26, 2013

Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder

Welcome back to this series about understanding Circadian Sleep Disorders! In this article, you’ll learn about two more circadian disorders that are kind of unusual and, in some ways, pretty cool.

Like I said in the previous article, the first step to overcoming such Circadian Sleep Disorders is by developing a general and individual understanding of it. Now as we discuss two more CSDs, we’ll see how each one is different from the previous and how they’re different from one another.

Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder

I don’t know who you are exactly or personally, but I’m well-convinced that you sleep relatively late in the night. It’s pretty common nowadays, and actually a lot of people think they have to just adjust to a “Night Owl” lifestyle even though most of their activities begin in the daytime.

Well, I’d beg to differ, since you know in previous articles that it’s important to keep your sleeping habit healthy and early. And I can offer you practical steps to improve your sleeping habit for that just in case. But whether you’re really a “Night Owl” or just a person who stays up for too much 9gag all the way until 1 am, I can say that you’re the type that sleeps a tad late than what your mother would want you to sleep.

Well, with Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder, or ASPS for short, the patient is marked by sleeping and waking up much earlier than what would be considered normal, or “average”, by society. This is something not a lot of people have in this day and age, so seeing a person with unusually early sleeping and waking habits is definitely easy to notice, and they totally stand out. People like this might sleep as early as 6pm! They wake up usually after just 8 hours of sleep at around 2 or even 4am when it’s still freakin’ dark. Why? Because they have ASPS, that’s why.

They do it naturally, without needing an alarm clock to play a Justin Bieber or Nicki Minaj song in max volume. Even without any special event or activity, they just wake up at around that time. That’s how they roll. “They see me wakin’, they hatin’.”
Well the cool thing about this is that it’s not really much of a problem for them. I mean, they can still totally function properly in a 9-5 kind of job. It’s perfectly normal and chill. Sidenote: an “asp” is a name of an Egyptian snake. Saying you have ASPS will totally make you sound awesome.

Irregular Sleep Wake Disorder

This disorder automatically reminds me of Bart Simpson’s grandpa. I don’t know about you, but there’s a big chance that you’ll think of him too once I explain this disorder. Well, with ISWD, the patient experiences multiple episodes of sleepiness which is usually followed by sleep (duh) in a 24-hour period irregularly.

From day-to-day, the patient will get sudden fits of relatively long sleep. That is, unless he or she gets woken up by someone else. It’s not as unstoppable and irresistible and unrelenting like an attack of narcolepsy, they just feel really compelled to sleep. It’s common especially among the elderly and with some children with developmental disorders.

ISWD can also be a consequence caused by tumors or traumatic injury to the brain, though. Just as a narcoleptic struggles with social life and with family and with work (until they acquire proper maintenance medication), someone with ISWD also has difficulty with the same aspects of life. But it’s still kinda cool, I guess.

In consolation, it would totally be a cool way to avoid having conversations with someone you dislike by just sleeping or pretending to be asleep and waking up to use ISWD as an excuse. But I guess you have to know your limits too.

These disorders aren’t really hindrances unless you choose to let them. Like many other people out there with CSDs or Narcolepsy, or even Epilepsy, it’s all about how you view life to be, and it’s your choice whether or not you’ll let it take you over or you take it over with humor and a positive disposition.