Circadian Rhythm Disorders Living With
Tips for managing your condition at home
- Follow your treatment plan. It is important that you follow your doctor’s instructions to help avoid the symptoms and complications of circadian rhythm disorders.
- Get regular follow-up care. Talk with your doctor about how often to schedule office visits and medical tests. You may need more sleep studies or regular tests to monitor your melatonin levels. Between visits, tell your doctor if you have any new symptoms, if your symptoms worsen, or if you have any complications because of your medicines.
- Keep a sleep diary to monitor improvements in your pattern of sleep and wakefulness and in your quality of sleep.
Learn precautions to help you stay safe
To avoid accidents caused by fatigue and daytime sleepiness, it is important to identify when you are too tired to drive, operate heavy machinery, or work. Consider using public transportation if you are too tired to drive.
How circadian rhythm disorders can affect your health
Left untreated, circadian rhythm disorders can increase your risk for the following health conditions:
- A weakened , which can lead to infections and poor recovery from illnesses
- Cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis or stroke
- and behavioral disorders, such as decreases in attention, vigilance, concentration, motor skills, and memory: These can lead to reduced productivity, workplace mistakes, or road accidents. In teens and young adults, circadian rhythm disorders can cause risky behavior and problems with concentrating at school, controlling emotions, and coping with stress.
- Digestive disorders such as stomach ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and irritable bowel syndrome: Circadian rhythm disorders may influence the signaling from the brain to the gastrointestinal tract. They may also increase inflammation in the bowel, which can lead to digestive symptoms.
- Fertility problems: Circadian rhythm disorders may disrupt the hormone cycle that controls fertility and reproduction.
- disorders, which can lead to diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and overweight and obesity
- Mood disorders, including irritability, anxiety, and depression
- Worsening of other sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea