In my article last week, I stated that I have Non-24. To recap, the condition can cause sleep difficulties. Since Non-24 primarily affects totally blind people, I consider it to be a disability issue. In this article, I will describe Non-24 and some coping strategies.
The medically recognized name for Non-24 is Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder. It can be abbreviated Non-24, which I do here for clarity. As
points out, the condition can occur when a brain’s clock does not accurately identify night and day. Our internal clocks are guided by light. Since totally blind people do not see light, their clocks can get confused. It is also worth noting that some people who are able to see can also have Non-24. I will now share coping strategies from a research perspective.
As the article about Non-24 referenced above makes clear, there is currently no cure for the condition. However,
has several suggestions. They include limiting caffeine and keeping in touch with friends electronically. The NSF also has ideas in their Non-24 article
A medication called Melatonin may help, which does not require a doctor’s prescription. The article also suggests Hetlioz, a medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration specifically for people dealing with Non-24. I will not provide a link to Hetlioz information here because I do not want to imply endorsement of the medication or pharmaceutical company which manufactures it. If you are interested in learning more about Hetlioz, I recommend doing a search with a Internet search engine. I will now share Non-24 coping strategies which are helpful to me.
Taking melatonin pills occasionally helps me sometimes, as can a daily exercising routine. I also discovered through my own experimentation that saying up later than in the past and listening to music help me relax. Alexa is useful for this coping strategy, as she can play music at any hour of the day or night. After listening to music using Alexa for an hour or two at night, it is usually easier for me to fall asleep. I encourage Anyone who has or believes they may have Non-24 to find a coping strategy which works.
Question for readers: If you have difficulty falling asleep for any reason, what coping strategies do you use? I will return next week with another article.