xlv. Some helpful links

24 August 2009 at 19:27 | Posted in Circadian rhythm | Leave a comment
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Mailing list / support group

Forums, some more helpful than others, my favorites at the top:

  • TalkAboutSleep is a message board with many categories including “Circadian Rhythm Disorders”. 
  • SleepDisorderChannel is another active message board with many categories, this one including “Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome”. 
  • BrainTalk is less specific (lots of neurology problems) and less active; scroll way, way, way down to “Sleep disorders” in the alphabetical list. 
  • SleepNet has forums on sleep problems, not specifically circadian. 
  • Facebook has several DSPS groups.

 (In general, anyone may read these forums, while registration is required to post.)

→  Sites with information:

  • DSPSinfo.org is a page by and for people with DSPS.  It aims to be neither too pessimistic nor too optimistic.  See also the links at the bottom of that page.
  • Su Laine Yeo is the oldie but goodie!  The oldest DSPS information on the internet.
  • Busting myths surrounding Delayed Sleep contains a long list of links, many of them great! 
  • Night Owl Network is for and about the normal night owls, with, among other things, an article showing these survey results, very approximately:  25% evening people, 15% morning people and  60% intermediates.
  • The B-society is the English language version of a Danish organization working for recognition of the evening chronotype, not specifically DSPS.   Little activity lately.
  • See also these and other articles on Wikipedia .  Here listed alphabetically:  Chronotype, Circadian rhythm, Circadian rhythm sleep disorder, Delayed sleep phase syndrome, Melatonin, Non-24-hour sleep-wake syndrome, Phase response curve, Sleep medicine

 Posts on other blogs:

  • How I Learned To Live With DSPS is a stand-alone post on an otherwise business blog.  Good description of the disorder and well-written, for example:  “I felt like one of those 7 foot basketball players where doorways and airplanes seats never fit you. The world was just not designed for me.”
  • Defeating Non-24hr syndrome tells, in believable detail, how one person has beat Non-24 and the 15 rules necessary to maintain diurnality.  With bibliography.


  And do let me know of

any other good sites

that I may have missed, please!


All ready for work!

All ready for work!

If you must get up for work tomorrow and know how hard it’s going to be, it may be best to shower and dress the night before….


Next, Guest Blogger: Breann Hays


xlii. Researchers mentioned here

13 June 2009 at 18:05 | Posted in Circadian rhythm | 6 Comments
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Several researchers have been mentioned / cited here, and there’ll surely be more.  They are listed below. 

Bjorvatn, Bjørn (in post vii.), is a sleep researcher at the University in Bergen, Norway, and a co-founder of Bergen Sleep Center.

Czeisler, Charles A. (in post xliii.) has been researching circadian rhythms for several decades.

Dagan, Yaron  (in post xxxviii.) in Israel, often publishing together with Judith Abadi, stated in 2001: “Certain sleep-wake schedule disorders (SWSDs) cannot be successfully managed clinically (…).  …we propose new medical terminology for such cases–SWSD disability. SWSD disability is an untreatable pathology of the circadian time structure…  It is imperative that physicians recognize the medical condition of SWSD disability in their patients and bring it to the notice of the public institutions responsible for vocational and social rehabilitation.”  In almost all of his papers, he emphasizes that people with circadian rhythm disorders often are misdiagnosed because physicians don’t know (enough) about such disorders.  Here is a case study (abstract) about a 14-year-old boy whose other diagnoses fell as soon as his sleep disorder was diagnosed.  It should perhaps be obvious that I appreciate Dagan’s work and his opinion. 

DeCoursey, Patricia (in post xix.), is the grand old, grand old of the field of chronobiology.  In 1960 she invented the Phase Response Curve when the “daily” activity rhythms of her flying squirrels, kept in constant darkness, responded to pulses of light exposure. The response varied according to the time of day — that is, the animals’ subjective “day” — when light was administered. When DeCoursey plotted all her data relating the quantity and direction (advance or delay) of phase-shift on a single curve, she created the PRC. It has since been a standard tool in the study of biological rhythms.

Dijk and Lockley (in post v.).  Derk-Jan Dijk and Steven W. Lockley often publish together.  Dijk, who studies the regulation of sleep and circadian rhythms in humans, is director of the Surrey Sleep Research Centre in the UK.  Lockley, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Associate Neuroscientist in Sleep Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the USA, is particularly interested in the effects of light on the circadian pacemaker in humans.

Horne and Östberg (in post xxxviii.) published their Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire (MEQ) in 1976.   It is based on O. Öquist’s 1970 thesis at the Department of Psychology, University of Göteborg, Sweden: ”Kartläggning av individuella dygnsrytmer”, “Charting Individual Circadian Rhythms”.  This marks the beginning of modern research into chronotypes.  Olov Östberg modified Öquist’s questionnaire and, together with J. A. (Jim) Horne, he published the MEQ (pmid 1027738, abstract ) which still is used and referred to in virtually all research on this topic. 

Roenneberg, Till (in post xxxvii. and in post xlvii.), professor at the University of Munich, is one of the best-known chronobiologists in Europe, having received international prizes for both his research and his teaching.  He has built up the Centre for Chronobiology at the Munich Medical School with its database on the sleep of over 50 000 Europeans.  In 2008 in India he collaborated with and directed a project in Mangalore chronotyping the south Indian population, with data covering nearly 75 000 participants.  Roenneberg’s work ranges from the cellular/molecular mechanisms of the circadian clock to the consequences of shift work and, as mentioned, huge surveys.

Thorpy, Michael J. (post xxxii.), board certified in sleep medicine, is a sleep researcher and a professor of clinical neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.  He has held high office in the National Sleep Foundation and in the Sleep Section of the American Academy of Neurology.  Thorpy was for many years editor of The International Classification of Sleep Disorders: Diagnostic and Coding Manual (ICSD) and has been publishing books and articles since the 1980s.

Uchiyama, Makoto (in posts xxxviii. and xxvii.), professor at the Nihon University School of Medicine in Tokyo and managing editor of Sleep and Biological Rhythms, the official English language journal of the Japanese Society of Sleep Research (JSSR), is a prolific co-author of studies on sleep, particularly on DSPS and Non-24, often in cooperation with Masako Okawa, chair of the Asian Sleep Research Society. (ASRS).  This research field is very active in Japan, where study subjects often are people with these disorders.  In the west, in contrast, studies are more often done on healthy, normal people with results extrapolated to effects in people with the disorders.  The Japanese researchers have shown, for example, that the interval between the lowest core body temperature and spontaneous awakening is much longer in people with Non-24 and DSPS than the “about two hours” which is considered normal.

Zivkovic, Bora, aka “Coturnix (in posts xxxvii.xxxiii.xviii. and  xv.), should have had his PhD by now but the ideal job came along and his dissertation isn’t getting done.  He tells about that and about chronobiology and about lots more at ScienceBlogs


Next:  xliii. Blindfolding the blind


xli. Coincidence & update

6 June 2009 at 23:50 | Posted in Circadian rhythm | Leave a comment
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Chapter three begins a year-to-the-day after the end of Chapter two.   A coincidence.  (I so wanted to call it serendipity but don’t want to add to the misuse of that word.)

In this last year I’ve retired but kept on with melatonin at night, my light box in the “morning” and keeping my sleep diary every day.  Plus a tiny dab of melatonin late afternoon and yellow goggles in the evening, when I don’t forget. 

The schedule has not become as regular as I’d thought and hoped, even though wake time is preferably “by 1 p.m.”  About every other month the  sleep specialist reminds me that he, at the beginning, had said that he couldn’t promise regularity, a “cure”.  And that he thought that my circadian period is “upwards of 28 hours”.

After five years of daily melatonin, I tried eight weeks without, thinking that, given the chance, my system might land on its own schedule.  Nope.  Those sleep diaries show chaos:  sleep whenever, rarely for 3-4 hours, often for 12-14 hours, night or day.  When I happened to get up between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. I did use the light box.  There’s no sign of a system, most particularly not any sign of Non-24, for which I’m glad.  When I showed the diary to the specialist, he pointed at those eight weeks and asked: “What  happened here?”

It took only a few days back on melatonin to get back where I was before; here’s a typical 4 weeks:

4weekDIARY jpeg

BTW, as you can see, the sleep diary is now simplified, with four weeks to the page.  With 28 days across and 24 hours down, midnight in the middle as before, symbols at the top for melatonin use and at the bottom for use of light box, the filled in sleep parts of each column show clearly how (ir)regular my sleep pattern is.  Illustrated is, believe it or not, a month that the specialist was quite happy about:  “That may be the best month you’ve had.”


Next:  xlii. Researchers mentioned here


xvii. Coffee break

28 November 2005 at 23:56 | Posted in Circadian rhythm | Leave a comment
Steel sculpture @ Steve Lohman, Line Art Gallery, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
The piece may well be life-sized. 
I would have been enraptured of this photo, even if I hadn’t been addicted to coffee.
Chapter Two
Next post:  xviii.  Phase Response Curve

i. [CHAPTER ONE] Entry #1

19 November 2005 at 00:02 | Posted in Circadian rhythm | 2 Comments
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An experiment. Do I want to start a blog? About the night owl condition – and open to the public? Then I’d better make clear, here at the start, that I am not a doctor nor a scientist. Do be careful about taking any advice I might come with. And keep in mind that it is possible, not even unusual, to have more than one sleep disorder at the same time.

The pic was “stolen” from an online forum which isn’t there anymore. Maybe it’s mine exclusively, now?

A first entry is necessary, if for no other reason than to see if they’ll let me edit it.
PS: Yes, I can edit.
But even though I’ve said that the “public” can comment, apparently only members of Yahoo-360 are allowed to. Image Now ain’t that just typical of yahoo, aol, google, microsoft etc., refusing to make their great features universal? Image
Update June 2009:  the blog has moved to WordPress from Yahoo-360.
Next post :  ii. “Yes, I am awake”

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