Circadian Rhythm Sleep-Wake Disorders

Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2015 Dec;38(4):805-23. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2015.07.012. Epub 2015 Sep 1.


The circadian system regulates the timing and expression of nearly all biological processes, most notably, the sleep-wake cycle, and disruption of this system can result in adverse effects on both physical and mental health. The circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders (CRSWDs) consist of 5 disorders that are due primarily to pathology of the circadian clock or to a misalignment of the timing of the endogenous circadian rhythm with the environment. This article outlines the nature of these disorders, the association of many of these disorders with psychiatric illness, and available treatment options.

Keywords: Advanced sleep phase type; Circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders; Delayed sleep phase type; Irregular sleep-wake type; Non-24-hour sleep-wake type; Shift work type.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Phototherapy*
  • Sleep Disorders, Circadian Rhythm / diagnosis
  • Sleep Disorders, Circadian Rhythm / drug therapy
  • Sleep Disorders, Circadian Rhythm / psychology*
  • Sleep Disorders, Circadian Rhythm / therapy*