Circadian Rhythm Disorders
Circadian Rhythm Disorders

Circadian Rhythm Disorders Symptoms

Symptoms of circadian rhythm disorders can vary depending on the type of circadian rhythm disorder you have and how severe your condition is. Many of the symptoms of circadian rhythm disorders occur because you are not getting enough good-quality sleep when your body needs it. Undiagnosed and untreated circadian rhythm disorders may increase your risk of certain health conditions or cause workplace or road accidents. Speak with your healthcare provider to learn more about diagnosis and treatment options.


  • Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or both
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness or sleepiness during shift work
  • Extreme tiredness and exhaustion
  • Lethargy
  • Decreased alertness and difficulty concentrating
  • Impaired judgment in risky situations, such as while driving, and trouble controlling mood and emotions
  • Aches and pains, including headaches
  • Stomach problems in people who have jet lag disorder

How do circadian rhythm disorders affect judgment?

Circadian rhythm disorders often cause sleep deprivation a condition that occurs when you do not get the recommended amount of uninterrupted quality sleep (7-9 hours for adults). Sleep deprivation can change how well your brain judges risky situations and behaviors. When you do not get enough sleep, you may underestimate the risks and overestimate the rewards of certain situations. This may lead you to make riskier choices than you would have made if you were well rested. Not getting enough sleep when you need it can also increase your risk for accidents, such as those caused by drowsy driving after working a night shift.

Sleep diary

Sleep Diary

Print and use this sleep diary to record the quality and quantity of your sleep and daytime habits that may affect your sleep. You can then bring the diary with you to review the information with your doctor.

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