Advanced Sleep Phase is a sleep disorder that becomes more common during the senior years, but is generally rare among the rest of the population. Characteristics of this sleep disorder include falling asleep early and also waking up early, but not as a result of a work schedule or any other outside factor that may force a person into this type of sleep pattern. It is simply the way their body has decided to work.
This sleep disorder can be particularly frustrating for people who would rather not adopt a lifestyle that required them to be home for sleep quite early compared to everyone else. Waking up early is the other characteristic of this sleep disorder, and this can be just as frustrating as having to go to sleep early.
Researchers have found that people affected by this disorder will often attempt to change their sleep patterns by staying up later at night no matter how exhausted they feel and they do this in the hopes that they will be able to sleep a little later in the morning since they stayed up the night before.
This solution is usually ineffective with sufferers of Advanced Sleep Phase because they will still wake up just as early in the morning as usual no matter what time they went to bed the night before.
Advanced Sleep Phase may not be a problem for some people because they don’t mind having a different sleep schedule than other people. For people who consider it a problem, however, treatment can be tricky.
Any time a person attempts to go against the body’s personal “settings” it can be quite difficult and should be approached with a very gradual intent. Any quick changes will only cause the problem to worsen, and in addition to the physical problems this can cause it might also make the sufferer feel even more frustrated in his or her efforts.
Advanced Sleep Phase Treatment
Potential treatments for Advanced Sleep Phase can include Light Therapy at night when the person first starts to feel sleepy. The light may prompt the body to stay in an awakened state for a longer period of time.
Another potential treatment is the use of melatonin supplements. Melatonin supplements are commonly used by people suffering from jetlag and other temporary sleeping problems, but it has been demonstrated to assist people with this sleeping disorder as well.
There is no guarantee that any treatment designed to assist sufferers of Advanced Sleep Phase will be effective. Some people simply have to accept that their bodies insist on an early bedtime along with an early wake up time in the morning.
Most people attempt to adjust to this by taking jobs that are conducive to this type of schedule. After all, waking up quite early can actually be a big plus for some occupations, and some people like this may not even consider themselves as having any type of sleep disorder at all. It is the people who do not want this type of schedule who seek out assistance from medical professionals for their sleeping issues.