02 September 2015

Today's #Sleeptember FACT --- Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder

Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder (or simply, Non-24) is a circadian rhythm disorder in which the body and brain fall out of alignment (or "entrainment") with the timing of the body's biological clock.

When this happens, people with Non-24 do not have neurological control over their sleeping and waking periods and may struggle to stay awake during the day or struggle to fall asleep at night.

Because the circadian rhythms are not stable, the biological clock is always "off," leading to ever-shifting cycles of sleepiness and wakefulness that may or may not coincide with the activities of daily living such as working, school, caregiving and other time-relevant activities. Special calculators have been developed to help these people adjust their days and nights to their sleep-wake schedules to maximize their functional time and to allow for quality sleep time.

No, this is not a fun fact. But it is a real fact for tens of thousands of people in the United States alone. 

Many blind people have non-24 (perhaps as many as 95,000, according to statistics published by the National Sleep Foundation).

The incidence of non-24 is less prevalent in sighted populations, but that does not mean that few sighted people suffer from it. Because the sighted population is considerably larger than that of the blind population, there are still untold numbers of sighted people who potentially suffer from this circadian rhythm disorder. Identifying, diagnosing and treating them has proven difficult, which makes non-24 a critical candidate for further research and awareness.

Learn more about Non-24 here:

Today's #Sleeptember FACT --- Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder