Two scientists, Dr. Colin Shapiro and Dr. David Gozal, have studied Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder for many years. They have found that many people with Non-24 have a problem with their internal clocks. These clocks are found deep inside the brain and are called "central circadian clocks".
The central circadian clocks are found in a part of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). The SCN plays an important role in controlling your sleep wake schedule. It is part of the hypothalamus.
In 2013, Dr. Shapiro and Dr. Gozal made a breakthrough in finding the cause of Non-24. They discovered that the central circadian clocks run on a cycle of about 25 hours, instead of a cycle of 24 hours. This is why people with Non-24 have longer days and shorter nights.
1. In Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder, the length of each day (also called the "24-hour day") is more than 24 hours. Each day is longer than 24 hours. The extra time is added at the end of each day. This is the opposite of what happens with normal people.
2. Most people have a sleep wake schedule which lasts about 24 hours. They wake up at about the same time every day, and go to sleep at about the same time every night.
3. People with Non-24 have a sleep wake schedule which lasts longer than 24 hours. They tend to go to sleep later each night. They also wake up later each day. This is the opposite of what happens with normal people.
4. People with Non-24 have been awake for more than 24 hours, so their sleep wake schedule is longer than 24 hours. This causes their sleep wake schedule to be delayed each day, as compared to normal people. Normal people's sleep wake schedule is earlier each day, as compared to people with Non-24.
5. People with Non-24 have to go to sleep and wake up later each night. Their sleep wake schedule gets later each night. This causes them to wake up later each day, as compared to normal people. Normal people's sleep wake schedule gets earlier each day, as compared to people with Non-24.
6. People with Non-24 cannot easily adjust their schedules to match the 24 hour day (i.e., they cannot easily adjust their schedules to match normal people's schedules). This causes them to be awake for most of the day, as compared to normal people. Normal people are awake for very little of the day, as compared to people with Non-24.
7. People with Non-24 often have symptoms such as: A person with Non-24 may have trouble waking up in the morning, and/or trouble falling asleep at night. They may also have trouble staying asleep all night long, and/or trouble sleeping at certain times each day (e.g., they may have trouble sleeping only during the night).
8. Some people with Non-24 also have problems with depression, trouble concentrating, or memory problems.
9. People with Non-24 have difficulty keeping their daily schedules stable (e.g., they often cannot make appointments or keep jobs). This may be because they cannot keep a stable sleep wake schedule (e.g., they cannot keep a stable sleep schedule).
10. People with Non-24 may also have problems with jet lag, if they travel across time zones (e.g., if they travel from the US to Europe).
This may be because they can't adjust their sleep wake schedule quickly enough to match the new time zone (e.g., because they can't adjust their schedule quickly enough to match the earlier schedules in Europe).
This is why some people with Non-24 are disabled for life, because they can't keep a stable sleep wake schedule, cannot keep a stable job, and often have to stay in bed all day, as well as take naps throughout the day.
The most effective treatment for Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder is the use of melatonin. Melatonin can be administered in a variety of ways, but the most effective way is to take melatonin supplements.
Melatonin can be found at health food stores, and at times some local pharmacies. It is important to note that there are two forms of melatonin, which are active and inactive.
These forms are not interchangeable, they are not the same, and they are not the same as each other. It is vital that the correct form of melatonin is used for Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder.
At bedtime, melatonin supplements can be taken orally, however, it is best to take melatonin supplements about an hour before bedtime. For people with Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder who have trouble sleeping, melatonin is best administered about an hour before bedtime.
In addition, it is important to take melatonin supplements in the evening, no more than every other day. The reason for this is that the biological (internal) clock that regulates sleep and wakefulness is strongly linked to melatonin production, which is why melatonin supplements are so successful in treating Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder.
For people with Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder who have trouble sleeping, melatonin supplements can be taken daily, and spaced out over the course of the day (e.g. every 6 hours).
For people who have trouble sleeping, melatonin supplements are usually most effective when taken at a higher dosage and when taken more often throughout the day. Typically, 50-100 micrograms of melatonin is recommended.
Taking melatonin supplements can also be combined with other sleep aids, as long as they do not negatively interact with each other. Melatonin is also non-addictive and non-habit forming, so it is a great alternative to sleeping pills, which can be habit forming and addictive.
Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder is an uncommon disorder, but only because it is not very well known. There are treatments available, but they are not commonly known or used. It is a disorder that can be successfully treated.
We do not know for sure. Recent studies suggest that N24 is present in 1-2 % of the population. Other studies have shown up to 4% of the population is affected by N24.
The most common symptoms reported by patients with N24 are sleepiness and fatigue during the day, and insomnia during the night.
We do not know for sure, but there is some evidence that people with N24 have an increased risk to develop depression, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However, this is still not clear, and needs to be studied further.
Depending on the severity, there are various treatments available to help patients with N24. These include bright light therapy, chronotherapy and melatonin.