Diagnosis

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

  • 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 that 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.

Treatment

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

Your plan may include:

  • Improving sleep habits. Your doctor may call this sleep hygiene. Good sleep hygiene involves maintaining a regular sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine and stimulating activities near bedtime, avoiding tobacco and alcohol, and only using your bedroom for sleeping and sex. It's also helpful to exercise in the morning and avoid moderate to vigorous exercise close to bedtime.
  • Melatonin supplements. Doctors may prescribe a melatonin supplement to take in the early evening, to help adjust your circadian rhythm.
  • Light therapy. Having light exposure in the morning may adjust your internal sleep clock (circadian rhythm).
  • Chronotherapy. In chronotherapy, doctors may prescribe you a sleep schedule that delays your bedtime by 1 to 2.5 hours every six days, until the desired bedtime is reached. You should maintain your sleep schedule once it is established.

Clinical trials

Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this condition.

Delayed sleep phase care at Mayo Clinic

Feb. 18, 2022
  1. Auger RR. Delayed sleep-wake phase disorder. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Nov. 9, 2021.
  2. AskMayoExpert. Circadian rhythm sleep disorders. Mayo Clinic; 2020.
  3. Feldman MD, et al., eds. Sleep disorders. In: Behavioral Medicine: A Guide for Clinical Practice. 5th ed. McGraw-Hill; 2019. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com. Accessed Nov. 9, 2021.
  4. Jameson JL, et al., eds. Sleep disorders. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 20th ed. McGraw Hill; 2018. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com. Accessed Nov. 9, 2021.
  5. Richardson CE, et al. Can exercise regulate the circadian system of adolescents? Novel implications for the treatment of delayed sleep-wake phase disorder. Sleep Medicine. 2017; doi:10.1212/CON.0000000000000499.
  6. Braswell Pickering EA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic. Nov. 11, 2021.
  7. Pavlova M. Circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders. Continuum. 2017; doi:10.1212/CON.0000000000000499.

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