Delayed sleep phase is a circadian rhythm (internal sleep clock) sleep disorder in which your sleep pattern is delayed two or more hours from a normal sleep pattern, causing you to go to sleep later and wake up later.

  • Experience and expertise. Mayo Clinic doctors trained in sleep medicine have experience evaluating and treating people who have delayed sleep phase and other sleep disorders. Each Mayo Clinic location offers a sleep disorders center accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, staffed by specialists trained in treating sleep disorders.
  • Team approach. Mayo Clinic doctors trained in sleep medicine, including doctors trained in lung and breathing conditions (pulmonary medicine), mental health conditions (psychiatry), brain conditions (neurology) and other areas, work together to diagnose and treat people who have delayed sleep phase.
  • Research. Mayo Clinic doctors and researchers study possible treatments for delayed sleep phase and other sleep disorders.

Diagnosis

Mayo Clinic doctors trained in sleep medicine, including doctors trained in lung and breathing conditions (pulmonary medicine), mental health conditions (psychiatry), brain conditions (neurology) and other areas, evaluate people who have delayed sleep phase.

To diagnose your condition, your doctor may review your family and medical history and conduct a physical examination. Your doctor often will order several tests to diagnose your condition or any other related conditions.

  • Actigraphy. In this test, you wear a small device that tracks your sleep-wake behavior at home.
  • Sleep diary. Your doctor may ask you to keep a sleep diary in which you log your daily sleep and wake times to help show your sleep pattern.
  • Polysomnogram. If your doctor suspects you have a different sleep disorder, he or she may order a polysomnogram. In this test, you stay in a sleep center overnight. A polysomnogram monitors your brain activity, heart rate, oxygen levels, eye movements and breathing function as you sleep.

Read more about polysomnogram.

Treatment

Mayo Clinic doctors trained in sleep medicine, including doctors trained in lung and breathing conditions (pulmonary medicine), mental health conditions (psychiatry), brain conditions (neurology) and other areas, evaluate and treat people who have delayed sleep phase.

Your doctor will work with you to create a plan for you to treat your condition.

Your plan may include:

  • Improving sleep hygiene. Your doctor may recommend you maintain a regular sleep schedule, avoid caffeine and stimulating activities near bedtime, avoid tobacco and alcohol, and other changes to improve your sleep hygiene.
  • Chronotherapy. In chronotherapy, doctors may prescribe you a sleep schedule that delays your bedtime by two to three hours every two days, until the desired bedtime is reached. You should maintain your sleep schedule once it is established.
  • Light therapy. Having light exposure in the morning may adjust your circadian rhythm (internal sleep clock).
  • Melatonin supplements. Doctors may prescribe a melatonin supplement to take in the afternoon or early evening, to help adjust your circadian rhythm.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is ranked among the Best Hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery and for psychiatry by U.S. News & World Report.

At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We're constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care — and trusted answers — like they've never experienced.

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What Sets Mayo Clinic Apart

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people. In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Doctors trained in psychiatry and psychology and pulmonary medicine treat adults who have sleep disorders at the Sleep Disorders Center at Mayo Clinic in Arizona.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 800-446-2279 (toll-free) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Doctors trained in psychiatry and psychology and pulmonary medicine treat adults who have sleep disorders at the Sleep Disorders Unit at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 904-953-0853 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Doctors trained in neurology, psychiatry and psychology, and pulmonary medicine treat people who have delayed sleep phase and other sleep disorders at the Center for Sleep Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 507-538-3270 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Doctors trained in pediatrics and sleep medicine, psychiatry and psychology and pulmonary medicine treat children who have delayed sleep phase and other sleep disorders at the Center for Sleep Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 507-538-3270 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

See information on patient services at the three Mayo Clinic locations, including transportation options and lodging.

Mayo Clinic doctors trained in mental health conditions (psychiatry), lung and breathing conditions (pulmonary medicine), and other doctors trained in sleep medicine study sleep disorders. Learn more on the Center for Sleep Medicine research website.

Mayo publications

See a list of publications by Mayo authors on delayed sleep phase and other sleep disorders on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

Nov. 19, 2012