67. N24 Awareness Day

24 November 2013 at 22:43 | Posted in Circadian rhythm | 8 Comments
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The online N24 community has decided to name November 24 as N24 Awareness Day.  We are encouraging bloggers and tweeters and anyone else with a platform to help spread awareness and knowledge of Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder (N24).

The web page which links to these efforts is here (click on the N24 Day Logo):

N24 Awarenes Day Icon
This would be an appropriate time to review some events in 2013 relevant to N24.

One important advance was a paper by Kitamura et al. which measured the intrinsic circadian period in 6 patients with N24.  They compared it with two groups of individuals without a circadian disorder.  One group had an intermediate circadian preference.  The other group had an evening preference. The latter group however did not have DSPS, only a preference for being active later in the day.

Kitmura et al. found that the intrinsic period of the N24s was 24.5 hours, which was significantly longer than that of the intermediate types, but not significantly longer than that of the evening types.  The average period of the N24s was longer than that of the evening types but because of the great degree of overlap between those groups the difference was not significant.  The longest period found in an evening type subject was nearly identical to the longest period among the N24 subjects (around 24.7 hours).

These results suggest that a longer-than-average intrinsic period is a component of N24, but it is not the only causative factor.  Other factors, such as differences in phase angle between sleep and temperature rhythms, as found in several studies, may play a role.

Another paper, by An et al.  did not discuss N24 explicitly, but the results may have import for those with the condition.  They studied the effect of Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide (VIP) on shifting of circadian rhythms in mice and in cell cultures from the SCN.  They found that VIP depending on time and dose could either enhance or reduce the mutual synchronization of SCN cells.  Further, when SCN cells were less tightly synchronized together, they adapted more quickly to phase changes.  This suggests that by manipulation of VIP levels it may be possible to increase the adaptability of the SCN to phase changes.  Since N24s with a longer period need to change phase every day if they are trying to maintain a normal schedule, this approach might be of help.   It might also help people with DSPS when trying to shift to an earlier sleep phase.

–posted by LivingwithN24 (James Fadden)


Kitamura S, Hida A, Enomoto M, Watanabe M, Katayose Y, Nozaki K, Aritake S, Higuchi S, Moriguchi Y, Kamei Y, Mishima K. Intrinsic circadian period of sighted patients with circadian rhythm sleep disorder, free-running type.Biol Psychiatry. 2013 Jan 1;73(1):63-9.

An S, Harang R, Meeker K, Granados-Fuentes D, Tsai CA, Mazuski C, Kim J, Doyle FJ 3rd, Petzold LR, Herzog ED. A neuropeptide speeds circadian entrainment by reducing intercellular synchrony. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Nov 12;110(46):E4355-61.


Next post:  68.  Guest post: Non-24 — Not Just a Disorder of the Blind



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  1. Thanks, LivingwithN24! It’s so good to see that there is relevant research going on!
    I was intending to do a post here today, too, it being N24 Awareness Day. Actually, this is my Facebook “status” for today, which I’ve also reprinted several other places. Instead of a new post, I’ll add it as a comment:
    Today, November 24, is N24 AWARENESS DAY 2013. N24, short for Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder, is, among sighted people, the most debilitating of the circadian rhythm disorders. (Among the blind it has a different cause and is most often treatable.) I have “only” its little brother, DSPS/DSPD, which gives me just an inkling of how N24 is. What we have in common is fatigue and the fact that our sleep patterns are abnormal and inflexible.
    People with N24 cannot keep to the 24-hour day on this planet. While normal people usually are awake for about 16 hours and sleep for about 8 hours, N24 people are awake for about 17 hours and sleep for about 9 hours (plus/minus) for a “day” much longer than 24 hours. That means that if they woke up at 8 a.m. today, they’ll awaken at 10 tomorrow, noon the day after, 2 p.m. the day after that and so on around the clock. This makes them have great difficulty getting an education; it generally makes them unemployable; and it makes it nearly impossible for them to make and keep any appointment.
    Today is AWARENESS day. Please don’t judge people who have invisible disabilities; they have enough to struggle with as it is. Thanks!

  2. […] N24 Awareness Day […]

  3. Could this be put onto the Network Facebook page? I’ve twittered notification that it’s N24 Awareness Day with a link to the Network website. I’m going to put something about it on my Facebook page too. Tracey


  4. @delayed2sleep – “shared” your FB status as my status earlier (copied & repasted, since I don’t think we’re FB friends) WELL said – and it comes across less “scolding” in your words than my 1st person pleas.

    @LivingwithN24 – THANKS for this post – so well done. I’ll be back to add one more comment when I locate what I did with the darned thing (or copy it from the web somewhere)

    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –

  5. I want to share the comment I have attempted to leave on each of the sites listed as related content: to my 2013 N-24 Awareness Day article
    November 24th is N-24 Awareness Day and we need YOUR help!

    YOUR article is linked as Related Content to my 2013 N-24 post — which also contains, among other useful sleep disorders information, links to a relatively new non-profit, The Circadian Sleep Disorders Network [CSDN]. Please take the time to check it out and share the information with your clients and readers. THANKS.

    N-24 is one of the disorders of sleep TIMING — Delayed (and Advanced) Sleep Phase Disorders are 2 more. In N-24 a person’s brain and body, essentially, insist that the day is longer than 24 hours, so sufferers are unable to sleep until later and later each night — how *much* later each night depends on how much longer their “body-day” is than the standard 24 hour day here on earth.

    As you can imagine, sufferers who are ABLE to maintain employment live seriously sleep-deprived and suffer the health consequences, since they cannot fall asleep early enough to be rested before morning comes and it’s time to get to work!

    UNFORTUNATELY, N-24 is (almost always) reported to affect primarily the blind, who cannot see to rephase to light . The SAD reality is that is has rarely been **studied** in the MANY individuals in the sighted community — so there is currently NO scientific basis for that rumor, contrasted with a great deal of anecdotal report that it is inaccurate.

    CSDN hopes to increase the availability of Circadian Sleep Disorders information on the web while correcting the misinformation (EVEN on almost every other sleep site that hasn’t yet responded). They are lobbying for more research leading to more effective treatment options for the ENTIRE sleep disorders community, with a focus on disorders of sleep-TIMING.

    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    and SIGHTED N-24 sufferer for 65 years now
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

  6. […] N24 Awareness Day (delayed2sleep.wordpress.com) […]

  7. […] N24 Awareness Day (delayed2sleep.wordpress.com) […]

  8. […] N24 Awareness Day (delayed2sleep.wordpress.com) […]

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