Circadian Rhythm Disorder Specialist

Golden Gate Sleep Centers

Internists & Sleep Medicine Specialists located in Danville, CA & Fremont, CA

Circadian rhythm disorders are disruptions in a person’s circadian rhythm, a name given to the internal body clock that regulates the 24-hour cycle of biological processes in animals and plants. The key feature of circadian rhythm disorders is a continuous or occasional disruption of sleep patterns. The disruption results from either a malfunction in the internal body clock or a mismatch between the internal body clock and the external environment regarding the timing and duration of sleep. As a result of the circadian mismatch, individuals with these disorders usually complain of insomnia at certain times and excessive sleepiness at other times of the day, resulting in work, school, or social impairment. At Golden Gate Sleep Centers, Dr. Puja Thakkar offers numerous diagnostic and treatment options at her two locations in Danville and Fremont, California, helping patients get much-needed sleep. If you’re struggling with circadian rhythm disorders, call or use the online scheduling tool to request an appointment.

Circadian Rhythm Disorders

What are the most common circadian rhythm disorders?

Delayed Sleep-Wake Phase

This circadian rhythm disorder is a sleep pattern that is delayed by two or more hours so that a person goes to sleep later at night and sleeps later in the morning, most common in adolescents and young adults whose night owl tendencies delay sleep onset -- often until 2 a.m. or later. Can lead to daytime sleepiness and impaired work and school performance. These individuals are often perceived as lazy, unmotivated, or poor performers who are chronically tardy for morning obligations. People with delayed sleep phase syndrome are often most alert, productive, and creative late at night.

Advanced Sleep-Wake Phase

This circadian disorder causes people to fall asleep several hours before a normal bedtime and wake up hours earlier than most people wake in the morning, usually seen in the elderly. This disorder is identified by regular early evening bedtimes (6 p.m. - 9 p.m.) and early morning awakenings (2 a.m. - 5 a.m.). People with advanced sleep phase syndrome typically complain of early morning awakening or insomnia as well as sleepiness in the late afternoon or early evening. 

Irregular Sleep-Wake Rhythm

This disorder causes a person's circadian rhythms to be so disorganized that there is no clear sleep or wake pattern. People with this sleep disorder may sleep off and on in a series of naps over a 24-hour period.

Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Rhythm

Non-24 is a sleep disorder that causes a person's sleep time to shift a little later every day. Sleep times may go in and out of alignment with other people over time.  

Shift Work

Affects people who have a non-traditional work schedule, have frequent late nights, or work at night. Work schedules conflicts with the body’s natural circadian rhythm and some individuals have difficulty adjusting to the change. Shift work disorder is identified by a constant or recurrent pattern of sleep interruption that results in insomnia or excessive sleepiness. The condition causes your sleep to be poor and consistent feelings of fatigue or exhaustion. 

Jet Lag

Jet lag occurs when you travel across multiple time zones and have difficulty adjusting to the new schedule. Eastward travel is more difficult than westward travel because it is easier to delay sleep than to advance sleep.


Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder in which people experience excessive daytime sleepiness and uncontrollable episodes of falling asleep during the daytime despite adequate sleep.

Dr. Thakkar’s goal is to help your circadian rhythm disorders and bring you back to healthy pattern of sleep. Don’t spend another night struggling, call Golden Gate Sleep Centers or use the online scheduling tool to get help.