Irregular sleep-wake rhythm disorder

Sabra M. Abbott*, Phyllis C. Zee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Irregular sleep-wake rhythm disorder is a circadian rhythm disorder characterized by multiple bouts of sleep within a 24-hour period. Patients present with symptoms of insomnia, including difficulty either falling or staying asleep, and daytime excessive sleepiness. The disorder is seen in a variety of individuals, ranging from children with neurodevelopmental disorders, to patients with psychiatric disorders, and most commonly in older adults with neurodegenerative disorders. Treatment of irregular sleep-wake rhythm disorder requires a multimodal approach aimed at strengthening circadian synchronizing agents, such as daytime exposure to bright light, and structured social and physical activities. In addition, melatonin may be useful in some patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-522
Number of pages6
JournalSleep Medicine Clinics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2015


  • Circadian rhythm
  • Melatonin
  • Sleep-wake rhythm disorder
  • Suprachiasmatic nucleus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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