Circadian Rhythm Disorders

Circadian rhythm disorders are problems with the “internal body clock” that regulates the normal sleep-wake cycle that keeps your biological processes in step. This cycle lasts about 24 hours. The normal circadian clock is set by the cycle of light and dark over 24 hours.

People with circadian rhythm disorders may have problems:

  • Falling asleep
  • Staying asleep
  • Waking up too early and not being able to go back to sleep
  • Getting sleep but not feeling refreshed by it

Causes of Circadian Rhythm Disorders

  • Shift work
  • Medications
  • Changes in routine, such as staying up late or sleeping in, time zone change
  • Medical problems including Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease
  • Menopause/ pregnancy
  • Jet lag

Treatment of Circadian Rhythm Disorders

  • Bright light therapy. You reset your rhythm by being around a bright light for a certain time each day.
  • Sleep hygiene. You’ll learn how to improve your circadian rhythm with changes to your bedtime routine or sleep environment.
  • Chronotherapy. You slowly adjust your bedtime until it reaches the time you want.
  • Lifestyle changes. Things like scheduling naps, being careful about your exposure to light and avoiding caffeine or nicotine for some time before bed can help.
  • Medication. Melatonin, stimulants, or hypnotics can change your sleep-wake cycle.

How do I get started?

Contact San Tan Cardiovascular Center today to make an appointment with one of our healthcare providers. At this appointment:

  • we will review your medical history, discuss your symptoms and perform a non-invasive, diagnostic test to further determine your medical condition,
  • any pertinent testing that needs to be done beforehand will also be ordered at this time.

Our billing department will then contact your health insurance company to obtain prior authorization.  Upon receiving insurance authorization, the test will be scheduled.