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Chronobiol Int. 1999 Mar;16(2):213-22.

Circadian rhythm sleep disorders: toward a more precise definition and diagnosis.

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Institute for Fatigue and Sleep Medicine, Sheba Medical Center, Israel. or


The present article presents a survey of the characteristics of our case series of 322 patients suffering from circadian rhythm sleep disorders (CRSDs), a case-control study comparing a group of 50 CRSD patients and 56 age- and gender-matched normal subjects, and a proposal for new guidelines for improving the diagnosis of CRSD. The major findings were that 83.5% of our CRSD patients who seek medical help are of the delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS) type; 89.6% report that the onset of CRSD occurred in early childhood or adolescence; CRSD exhibits no gender differences: a familial trait exists in 44% of patients; and learning disorders (19.3%) and personality disorders (22.4%) in the DSPS-type patients are of high prevalence. The findings of this study point to the importance of clinician awareness of the clinical picture of patients presenting with CRSD so that early diagnosis and effective treatment can be achieved to prevent harmful consequences.

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