How to Deal With Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome or DSPS
Sleep disturbances may have their root on psychiatric disorders and be caused by depression, anxiety, and tension.

Delayed sleep phase disorder(DSPD) often known as Delayed Sleep phase Syndrome(DSPS) is the inability to fall asleep at the usual time and consequently having difficulty to wake up in the morning.

DSPD syndrome mostly happens in young and adolescent adults due to Staying up late and having less than 7 hours of sleep per night and results in disruption of the body clock or circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythm disorder happens in adolescence mainly because of irregularities in sleep hygiene.

Even after the treatment, patients with delayed sleep phase syndrome have a strong tendency to return their sleep time to their inherent late times.

What causes delayed sleep phase syndrome?

Psychiatric disorders

All types of sleep disturbances may have their root on psychiatric disorders and be caused by depression, anxiety, and tension.

The Pattern of Night-time social activities

Evidence shows that some people prefer night for their activities could be having more security and concentration at night when other forms of productive works are not possible.


Caffeine disrupts the natural cycle of cortisol secretion and high cortisol level keeps you awake at night. Avoid caffeine consumption unless for helping to shift your sleep hours.

Can Delayed sleep phase syndrome cause other medical disorders?

The answer is yes,  a key study showed that people with circadian disorders, delayed sleep disorder, and shift work disorder are at increased risk of some diseases such as breast cancer among females, cardiovascular disease and ulcer disease.

Delayed sleep phase syndrome and other physiologic sleep disorders, such as insomnia, advanced sleep phase syndrome, restless legs syndrome, Non-24-hour sleep-wake, jet lag, shift work disorder, and irregular sleep disorder may result in diseases such as heart disease, blood pressure, weight gain, type 2 diabetes, asthma, acid reflux and lapses in concentration.

Who may get Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder?

Although all people in all ages are exposed to Delayed sleep phase syndrome, prevalence is greater among women and older adults.

How can I treat DSPD naturally?

The treatment has two phases: First, rescheduling the sleep to an earlier time and second, maintaining the new schedule. There are some scientific ways to shift your sleep time. Implement the following tips and try to stick to your new sleep time. Putting the alarms to wake up every day at a specified time can help you to maintain your new hours.

Delayed sleep phase syndrome light therapy

Try to be exposed to the morning light

The circadian rhythm can get desynchronized internally with sleep\wake cycle and synchronized externally with dark\light cycle.

Morning light increases serotonin secretion in your body. When serotonin increases, melatonin decreases. Melatonin increase can make you feel drowsy and prepared to sleep.

If you spend most of your time in low-light areas, your melatonin secretion becomes disordered. Take 30 minutes sunbath every day. Vitamin D supplements can also help you increase serotonin.

Avoid exposing to the artificial lights in the evening

Studies show artificial light prevents the natural release of melatonin at night. Light has the ability to shift the circadian rhythm and suppress melatonin secretion. Dim the lights in the evening to let your body get synchronized with the light and make you feel sleepy.

Shift your bedtime/wake time 15 to 30 minutes

Try to go to bed 15 to 30 minutes sooner than the night before. Try natural ways to improve your sleep quality. Bad sleep habits can worsen your sleep disorder.

Delay your bedtime/wake time 2-3 hours

If you have trouble to fall asleep sooner, try to shift your bedtime 2 to 3 hours until reaching the desired time.

Take melatonin supplements(0.3-0.5 mg)

Studies show melatonin supplementation is the most effective way to advance the sleep time. Although according to studies, melatonin - 0.3 mg- is safe to intake, consult with your doctor if you take a special medicine.

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