NEWS FROM THE PRACTICE COMMITTEE - Elisabeth James, PhD, CBSM

The March Practice and Consultation webinar was entitled Circadian Rhythms in Children and Adolescents and presented by Dr. Sarah Honaker, Indiana University School of Medicine; Dr. Brant Hasler, University of Pittsburgh, served as discussant.

The webinar provided information about developmental changes in sleep phase that is essential for sleep clinicians treating adolescents, as well as quite helpful to adult providers seeking to understand how the changes in sleep phase in adolescence may be a precipitating factor in the development of chronic insomnia in some adults.

Dr. Honaker opened with models and key features of circadian rhythm change during adolescent development, laying the ground work for step-wise assessment and individually tailored behavioral treatment of DSWPD. The therapeutic interventions are progressively adjusted sleep-wake schedule, timed and dose-specified therapeutic light, careful management of environmental light exposure, and optimizing the milieu factors, such as adult involvement and the schedule of school and social activities. She also suggested possible reasons that might explain why some adolescents are more susceptible than others to developing significant sleep problems in association with the normal developmental changes in circadian rhythm.

Dr. Hasler introduced further practice considerations, among them, that the presenting complaint is often excessive day-time sleepiness or long sleep, that adherence can be challenging , the mode of therapeutic light exposure can be a factor in compliance, and identified recent research findings on naps and phase drift during weekends that are useful to consider.

The Practice Committee thanks Dr. Honaker and Dr. Hasler for sharing their expertise with us. A recording of the presentation is available to SBSM members on our website at https://www.behavioralsleep.org/index.php/sbsm-educational-opportunities/sbsm-webinars.

Please join The Practice Committee for our next webinar on July 25th at 12pm EST for a presentation on CPAP Adherence by Dr. Melanie Leggett & Dr. Christi Ulmer.