Circadian Rhythm Disorders
Circadian Rhythm Disorders

Circadian Rhythm Disorders Living With

If you have been diagnosed with a circadian rhythm disorder, it is important that you continue your treatment. Follow-up care can vary depending on your response to treatment and what causes your sleep problems.

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 immune system , which can lead to infections and poor recovery from illnesses
  • Cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis or stroke
  • cognitive 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.
  • metabolism 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
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