Behavioral and psychiatric consequences of sleep-wake schedule disorders

Yaron Dagan, Katy Borodkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Circadian rhythm sleep disorders (CRSDs) arise when an individual's sleep-wake rhythm mismatches the environmental 24-h schedule. Physiological data and genetic studies in patients with CRSDs suggest that these disorders result from abnormal functioning of the circadian timing system. Diagnosis involves recognition of the characteristics of CRSDs, which can be achieved by clinical interview and actigraphic monitoring of rest-activity patterns. Bright-light therapy and melatonin administration have proved to be the most effective treatment modalities of CRSDs. In psychiatric practice, CRSDs can be encountered on various occasions. Some evidence indicates that a deviant sleep-wake schedule might be a predisposing factor to personality disorders. CRSDs can emerge as an iatrogenic effect of certain psychoactive drugs, such as haloperidol and fluvoxamine. It is not uncommon that the daytime functional difficulties that accompany CRSDs are misinterpreted as symptoms of psychopathology. Recognition and awareness of these disorders should prevent years of erroneous diagnosis and treatment in these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-365
Number of pages9
JournalDialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2005


  • Actigraphy
  • Circadian rhythm sleep disorder
  • Delayed sleep phase syndrome
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Haloperidol
  • Melatonin
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Personality disorder
  • Sleep


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