Note that Circadian Sleep Disorders Network is not affiliated with any pharmaceutical, medical device, or other company.
Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders (CRSDs or CRDs) are neurological disorders in which the sleep-wake cycle is out of sync with the day-night cycle. These include in particular Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder and Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder. Also included are Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder, Irregular Sleep Wake Disorder, and Shift Work Disorder, which are defined here.
Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder (DSPD), also called Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS), is characterized by an inability to fall asleep until very late at night, with the resulting need to sleep late in the morning or into the afternoon. Questions? See our DSPS Q&A.
Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder (ASPD), also called Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome (ASPS), is the opposite. It is characterized by falling asleep very early in the evening, and waking up in the wee hours of early morning, unable to sleep further.
Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder (Non-24), also called Free-Running Disorder (FRD), is a condition in which a person's day length is significantly longer than 24 hours, so that sleep times get later each day, cycling around the clock in a matter of days or weeks. Questions? See our Non-24 Q&A.
Some people use the term reverse sleep, referring to the fact that sometimes people with DSPD and Non-24 end up sleeping during daylight and being awake at night.
We are asking our members and followers to give our brochure, and/or our Q&A booklets, to their sleep doctors and their general doctors on their next visits. It is vital to all of us suffering from circadian disorders that more doctors and their support staff understand these disorders and how disruptive they can be. The more doctors who know about us, the more patients we can reach, inform, and support. And the larger our membership, the more credible our voice on behalf of all people with circadian sleep disorders.
You can print out the brochure on U.S. letter paper (8½x11) or on A4 paper (non--U.S.). Booklets can be printed for DSPS or for Non-24 (the same file can be printed on either U.S. or A4 paper). Alternatively you can email us at to request a printed copy of any or all these documents (please specify which, and how many you really need). Be sure to include your name and full postal address. We will send these at no charge to you.
Alexandra Wharton, CSD-N Board Member and Social Media Liaison, presented a poster about circadian rhythm disorders at the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms (SRBR) Biennial Meeting in June. SRBR is dedicated to advancing rigorous, peer-reviewed science and policies related to sleep and circadian biology.
Attended by 700 chronobiologists and industry experts from 40 countries, the virtual conference covered the latest research about the mechanisms and functions underlying the entrainment and expression of biological rhythms. Session topics included sleep-wake cycles, hormonal and metabolic rhythms, molecular basis of circadian timing and the identification of genes underlying rhythmicity.
During CSD-N's poster session and Q&A, Alexandra outlined what Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder and Non-24 are, highlighted CSD-N's patient-powered survey and explained that DSPD has high co-morbidity with ADHD and other mental health conditions.
She discussed the challenges Circadian Rhythm Disorder (CRD) sufferers experience including lack of proper diagnosis, treatment and accommodations at school and work. She stressed that genetic and biomarker discoveries are critical for CRD patient advocacy as they highlight the physiological differences in people with these disorders, compared with typical sleepers.
Many thanks to Susan Plawsky for representing the circadian disordered community on the (U.S.) NIH Sleep Disorders Research Advisory Board (SDRAB) for the past four years. Thursday, June 11, was her last meeting as patient representative on that board. Two other members of our community have applied for the vacant slot.
The SDRAB is charged with preparing the Sleep Disorders Research Plan. They have been working on creating this plan for the past four years, and it is currently waiting on review by the various institutes within NIH and other government departments before being released.
The meeting was of course virtual, in these pandemic times. Among the attendees, in addition to Susan, were CSD-N president Peter Mansbach, board member Alexandra Wharton, and member Alexandra Escalera. There were talks on hypersomnia/narcolepsy by Dr Thomas E Scammell and on lighting (in regard to sleep and circadian rhythms) by Dr Mariana G Figueiro. Peter asked Dr Scammell about overlap between DSPD and narcolepsy, but Dr Scammell has not seen this in his practice. Alexandra Escalera also spoke about her struggles as a DSPD patient.
As (previously described), SRS/AASM (Sleep Research Society/American Academy of Sleep Medicine) and SRBR (Society for Research on Biological Rhythms) are preparing a White Paper on needed research in circadian rhythms, and invited CSD-N to provide input from the patient perspective. We did so last June, in our Needed Research document.
In March we received a draft of the White Paper, and again James Fadden, Peter Mansbach, and Susan Plawsky sent our comments and suggested revisions to them. The White Paper has been further edited, was approved by the SRS board, and has been submitted to the journal SLEEP.
We've updated N24calc, the web app that predicts when you'll be awake if you have Non-24 with a constant day length. The new version uses 12-hour input if that's what your computer's locale is set to, or 24-hour time if it's set to that. It fixes a bug in the previous version in case your "today" started before midnight but it's now after. And adds a notification when it switches to daylight saving time (also depends on your locale). It assumes you're in your awake period when you're using it. Let us know of any problems.
On Monday, Feb. 9, 2020, Project Sleep and the Sleep Research Society co-hosted an Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill bringing together patient advocates and sleep researchers to urge Congress to support critical sleep research and awareness efforts. CSD-N board member Jason Myatt (third from left) participated in support of circadian rhythm sleep disorders research. Dr Phyllis Zee (far left), a member of our Medical Advisory Board, also participated. Thanks to all who helped.
The Board of Directors of Circadian Sleep Disorders Network has elected its officers for 2020 - 2021:
Many thanks to our outgoing secretary, Jen Heller Meservey, for her service.
The Sleep Disorders Research Advisory Board (SDRAB) of the NIH (U.S. National Institutes of Health) met on Jan 6 and 7 to work on their Sleep Disorders Research Plan. Susan Plawsky (not pictured), our circadian rhythm disorders (CRD) patient representative, attended both days. She plays an important role in calling attention to places where CRDs are likely to be overlooked.
Our president, Peter Mansbach, vice president James Fadden, and member Alexandra Escalera also attended and made brief statements Jan 6 on behalf of CRD patients during the public comment period. Here are Peter's remarks:
Hi. I'm Peter Mansbach, and I'm President of Circadian Sleep Disorders Network.
Those of us with Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder or Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder suffer. Some of us sleep when our bodies tell us to sleep. We give up good careers to do so, and struggle to earn a living on our odd schedules. And we're still often tired. Others force themselves to be up for the workday, and become sleep deprived, year after year, with all the health issues that eventually result. We desperately need solutions.
Yet this is the current state of research on Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders:
This is why we're here. Our current representative, Susan Plawsky's term ends in June. We hope someone else from our circadian-disordered community will be appointed to this Board. Two that I know of have applied.
- Researchers do not even agree on how to define circadian rhythm disorders.
- We do not know how many people have these disorders.
- We do not know what the underlying causes are.
- We do not have a quick way to diagnose these disorders.
- We do not have good treatments; what we do have are largely ineffective.
- What little we do know often isn't implemented by clinicians.
- The public, and even many in the medical community, do not even believe these are real disorders. And they certainly do not understand their severity.
The Society for Research on Biological Rhythms (SRBR) is an international society that promotes the advancement and dissemination of research on all aspects of biological rhythms.
Recently, CSD-N was invited to provide input about circadian rhythm disorders to SRBR's advocacy program. As a result, SRBR.org launched three new website pages: Circadian Rhythm Disorders describing DSPD, ASPD, and Non-24; Awareness & Support with tips on living with a CRD; and Get Involved, which encourages people to share their story, join CSD-N and contribute to our survey.
Thanks to SRBR Public Outreach Committee members Laura Kervezee, Ph.D. and Louise Ince, Ph.D., and CSD-N Board Member Alexandra Wharton for contributing to the content.
Last summer CSD-N prepared recommendations on Needed Research which we submitted for inclusion in a White Paper on needed research for circadian rhythms. The White Paper is being prepared by SRBR together with AASM (American Academy of Sleep Medicine) and SRS (Sleep Research Society). The White Paper is still under development.Archived News 2019
This is a free mailing list support group for people with DSPS and Non-24 to share their experiences. It's a good place for people just discovering these disorders to hear how others deal with them, as well as for long-time participants to get support and to provide support to others. There are often discussions of evolving treatment, useful to all. For further information, and to sign up, go to www.circadiandisorders.org/list.
Note that membership in Circadian Sleep Disorders Network and membership on this email list are completely separate.
Circadian Sleep Disorders Network is affiliated with this email list, and our volunteers assist the list administrator with some chores. CSD-N was formed by participants on this list, and many of our members post regularly. But we have no control over what appears or who can join, and list membership is completely separate from membership in CSD-N.
Once you've signed up for the list, you post by sending an email to Everyone on the mailing list receives that post as an email, and you receive everyone else's posts as emails. If you don't like to get separate emails, you can opt to receive in digest form, typically one email a day containing all the day's posts. You make that selection after signing up by logging in (using the password you created when signing up for the email list) at www.circadiandisorders.org/list.
There are some rules:
The rules that the list software enforces are
An additional rule is PLEASE do not just reply to a message with a subject line containing "Niteowl Digest, Vol xxx, Issue xxx". That is obviously not informative and if you aren't careful you may include the whole list of messages in the Digest, making your message too large for the list.
Digest or not, it is a good idea to trim whatever you are replying to leaving just enough for people to know what you are replying to.
Of course, don't be snippy or insulting, and please take off-topic conversations off-list. And no advertising.
Once you've signed up for the list, you can also browse previous posts in the archive at
There is also a mirror of the archive on Yahoo at https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/nite-owl/info. This is useful when the primary archives are not working, as sometimes happens. Login to your Yahoo account, or create one (free) - link is at the top right on that page. Then you have to join the Yahoo copy of the list - this is separate from signing up for the list itself - there is a button on the Yahoo page to do this.
To unsubscribe from the Niteowl email list go to
and follow the directions at the bottom of the page. You will need to know your list password.
If you do not know your list password, send email to
with PASSWORD in the subject line. This email must come from the same email address that you subscribed from (which is the one your incoming Niteowl list emails go to). Your password will be sent to you at that address.
If that doesn't work, you can unsubscribe by sending email to
with UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line. This email must come from the same email address that you subscribed from (which is the one you your incoming Niteowl list emails go to). If you do this, you will get an email back asking you to confirm. You must follow the instructions and confirm, or you will not be unsubscribed.
For more (or more current) help on list commands, send email to
with HELP in the subject line.
Our brochure is geared to the general public, to introduce DSPD (DSPS) and Non-24 to people experiencing symptoms of these disorders, and to their families.
Please distribute it to anyone who may be interested.
Print on lightly colored paper for some color, if you like. We used ivory.
|Brochure - web display||
Print on US letter size paper, PDF
Print on A4 size paper, PDF
The web display version shows the brochure panels in easy-to-read order. The print versions are meant to be printed out on both sides of a sheet of paper, then folded in thirds, creating a brochure. (In the print version, the panels will appear out of order on-screen.)
We have posted documents describing DSPD (DSPS) and Non-24, in an easy to read Question-and-Answer format. These are designed to give to family members, friends, employers, and school personnel, to help them understand these disorders. Feel free to print and distribute these. There are two different (but similar) versions, one for DSPD and the other for Non-24:
|DSPD Q&A - web||printer||booklet*|
|Non-24 Q&A - web||printer||booklet*|
The web formats display nicely in your browser.
The printer versions are formatted by your browser for printing a multi-page document.
The booklet forms are pre-formatted PDF files that you can print on two sides of a single sheet of paper, which then folds in half into a booklet.
* When printing the booklet, be sure to flip on the short edge (select this option if you have a double-sided printer).
|Spanish:||DSPS Preguntas y Respuestas - web||printer|
|No-24 Preguntas y Respuestas - web||printer|
|German:||DSPS F&A - web||printer|
|Non-24 F&A - web||printer|
We also have a one page Basic Fact Sheet that introduces DSPD and Non-24 to people who don't know about them. It's a quick and easy read, just the basics.
Former board member and artist Lily Style has created an infographic describing Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders. View it in your browser at www.circadiansleepdisorders.org/docs/CRSDGraphic.php. Feel free to repost the graphic to help raise awareness.
You can print it directly from your browser (we suggest making the browser window full screen - the image will resize). We are also posting JPG images in various proportions for printing directly on different sizes of paper:
We are offering merchandise (mugs, T-shirts, tote bags, bumper stickers, and a messenger bag) with our name and logo through CafePress,
www.cafepress.com/circadiansleepdisordersnetwork. (Note: if you just search CafePress you will find this merchandise, but at a higher price!)
Circadian Sleep Disorders Network is a Coalition Partner of Start School Later. We understand only too well the difficulties many teens have with early school start time, and we support the move to start school later.
smile.amazon.com you will be asked to confirm Circadian Sleep Disorders Network as your charity. Amazon will remember your selection. But you do have to go to smile.amazon.com instead of simply amazon.com, for each purchase, if you want 0.5% of that purchase to go to CSD-N. Note that you pay the same amount either way - through Smile the 0.5% goes to us, otherwise it goes to Amazon.
We have already received several contribution checks from Amazon! Please select Circadian Sleep Disorders Network as your charity. smile.amazon.com
Amazon and the Amazon logo and AmazonSmile and the AmazonSmile logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.
This is a list of refences added to our Info page since the last newsletter. The newsletter lists references added since the previous newsletter. These are generally available to members only.
This web site is intended to provide generic information about Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders, and
is not intended to replace discussions with a healthcare provider.
You should not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a medical or health condition.
All decisions regarding patient care should be made with your healthcare provider.
Office: 4619 Woodfield Rd, Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: By appointment only, please.
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