Sleep Center

Circadian Rhythm Disorders

The human body’s internal clock, termed the circadian rhythm, regulates the (approximate) 24-hour cycle of biological processes. It is responsible for variations in most body systems with the most affected systems being the sleep-wake cycle, temperature regulation and the endocrine system. This “rhythm” can be linked to patterns of brain wave activity, hormone production, cell regeneration, and other biological activities. Disruptions in the normal rhythm can cause the “internal clock” to cause disruptions in sleep behavior.

What Causes Circadian Rhythm Disorders?

Some factors include:

  • Shift work
  • Pregnancy
  • Time zone changes
  • Medications
  • Changes in routine
  • Jet Lag

Circadian rhythm disorders are typically treatable. Treatment options are based on the diagnosis and cause of the disorder. The ultimate goal is to help the person return to a sleep pattern that fits their lifestyle. If lack of sleep is affecting your life, you may benefit from a diagnostic sleep study. Contact your physician or the UMMC North Sleep Center for diagnostic and treatment options (281) 453-7110.