Physiological Psychology Paper

Topics: Circadian rhythm, Sleep, Sleep disorder Pages: 3 (978 words) Published: March 27, 2012
Physiological Psychology Paper
Due Thursday April 28th

The sleep pattern that Michael is suffering from is known as Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder (DSPD). This disorder is a circadian rhythm disorder that results in a late timed sleeping pattern (Lack, L.C, 2007). People that suffer from DSPD have difficulty falling asleep at the anticipated time, and have the inability to wake up at the desired time in the morning (American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 2005). Treatments such as exogenous melatonin, bright light early in the morning and chronotherapy have all been effective in treating this disorder as they are able to change the circadian rhythm timing.

DSPD symptoms can seriously impair daily activities producing a lack of concentration and fatigue depending on the severity of the condition. This is demonstrated with Michael’s ineffective sleeping pattern as he is unable to concentrate at the early morning shift and he “does not perform well”. DSPD can occur at any age, however it is extremely prevalent among young adults and college students due to hectic schedules maintained (Townsend, D.R. 2005). People with a normal circadian rhythm are able to fall asleep quickly at night if they are sleep deprived. Falling asleep earlier will automatically help to advance their circadian clocks due to decreased light exposure in the evening. In contrast DSPD patients are unable to fall asleep before their usual sleep time, even if it is needed. Sleep deprivation does not reset the circadian clock of DSPD patients as it does with normal people (Lack, L.C, 2007).

It is reasonably easy to confuse DSPD with normal variations of sleep and other types of insomnia. Consulting with a sleep specialist is the recommended action as they correctly diagnose all sleep disorders. DSPD is different to other sleeping patterns such as insomnia, which is the difficult of falling asleep, staying asleep and falling back to sleep. DSPD have similar symptoms, however with...
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