Familial advanced sleep phase syndrome

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Among other methods, sleep studies, or polysomnography, are used to diagnose ASPD.

Familial Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome (FASPS) is a rare condition characterized by extreme phase advance in sleep and wake times, with individuals falling asleep and waking up 4-6 hours earlier than the general population.

Clinical features

Individuals with FASPS typically sleep from 7:30 PM to 4:30 AM and have a circadian period of 22 hours, significantly shorter than the average human period of slightly over 24 hours. This leads to an earlier sleep onset and offset, requiring individuals to delay their sleep patterns to align with the 24-hour day. On weekends and holidays, this advance in sleep phase may result in further sleep deprivation.

Sleep disruption

  • Aside from the atypical sleep timing, FASPS patients experience normal sleep quality and quantity. However, social norms may result in sleep deprivation due to the need to delay sleep to a more socially acceptable time.
  • FASPS is a lifelong condition with a strong genetic inheritance, as approximately 50% of directly related family members may also experience its symptoms.
  • The diagnosis of FASPS can be confirmed through genetic sequencing and the condition can be treated with sleep and wake scheduling and bright light therapy.
  • However, treatment outcomes for FASPS have proven to be largely unsuccessful.
  • Bright light exposure in the evening during the delay zone, as indicated by the phase response curve to light, can delay circadian rhythms, resulting in later sleep onset and offset in patients with FASPS or other advanced sleep phase disorders.
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