Pediatric Circadian Rhythm Disorder

A circadian rhythm disorder is a problem with a child’s sleep-wake cycle.

What is Pediatric Circadian Rhythm Disorder?

A circadian rhythm disorder happens when a child’s sleep-wake cycle becomes out of sync. The circadian rhythm, sometimes called the body clock, affects hormones, body temperature and sleep over a 24-hour period. Individual circadian rhythms may differ slightly, but all are influenced by exposure to light (day) and darkness (night).

An infant’s (birth to 1 year) circadian rhythm begins to develop around six weeks of age and is usually set between three and six months. Changes in hormone levels during adolescence (age 10 to 19 years) can affect a child’s circadian rhythm.

What are the signs and symptoms of Pediatric Circadian Rhythm Disorder?

  • Difficulty waking up in the morning
  • Falling asleep before normal bedtime (advanced sleep phase disorder)
  • Hypersomnia (excessive daytime sleepiness)
  • Trouble falling asleep at normal bedtime (delayed sleep phase disorder)
  • Waking up before daylight

What are the causes of Pediatric Circadian Rhythm Disorder?

Factors that may increase the likelihood of a circadian rhythm disorder include:

  • Changes to normal routine
  • Changing from one time zone to another (jet lag)
  • Medication side effects

Pediatric Circadian Rhythm Disorder Doctors and Providers