A circadian rhythm disorder is a condition that disrupts the timing of an individual's sleep patterns. This might not sound like a serious problem, as people who suffer from this sleep disorder are able to get sufficient rest if allowed to follow their own body clocks. However, not being able to sleep at specific times that society dictates makes it difficult to do things like: get to work on time, make it to class, attend meetings punctually etc. People who suffer from circadian rhythm disorders generally get good quality sleep, it's just that they can't keep the same sleep times as other "normal" sleepers.[an error occurred while processing this directive]
The body's internal clock naturally follows a schedule of biological processes throughout a 24-hour period. A regular disruption of these natural patterns often results from a contradiction between an individual's internal (or body) clock and their environment. A circadian rhythm disorder can hamper daily performance in other aspects of a person's life including work, school, musical or artistic performances as well as other social functions.
When a circadian rhythm disorder begins to negatively affect an individual's life, it is time for a change. Some treatments include bright light therapy and chronotherapy, which help reset a person's internal clock. Since people suffering from the extrinsic forms of circadian rhythm sleep disorders are actually able to get a full night's rest (7-9 hours) in many cases, they must consider whether keeping this erratic sleep schedule is viable. If you suffer from this sleep disorder and you're one of the unlucky ones whose sleep suffers because of your job, ultimately you may have to make a choice between healthy sleep and living versus a healthy paycheck.