Support & Resources
Support and Resources for Non-24 Sufferers
Most physicians and Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder (Non-24) patients are unfamiliar with the circadian rhythm disorder because large-scale studies of both sighted and totally blind patients have yet to be conducted. Such studies are crucial in developing criteria for diagnosis. Without progress in research and the availability of support groups, Non-24 patients continue to suffer devastating economic and social blunders. Simply telling Non-24 patients to "try harder" will not help their condition because they have no control of their disorder.
Many Non-24 patients find it hard to obtain an accurate diagnosis because primary care and non-sleep-specialist physicians are likely to not know, or know little, about the condition. If individuals are noticing a pattern of excessive daytime sleepiness and finding it hard to maintain a normal 24-hour sleep-wake cycle, or cyclic episodes of good and bad sleep, over weeks or months at a time, it is best to contact a sleep healthcare professional as soon as possible. The doctors will likely perform both physical and hormonal circadian rhythm tests and ask for a sleep diary to be kept for several weeks or months.
Support groups and educational forums for this disorder remain scarce. The website www.non-24.com provides networking opportunity for those seeking others like themselves. The website is created by a pharmaceutical company that produces and sells the only FDA-approved medication to treat Non-24. The most important thing to remember is that you're not alone! There are many more people with Non-24 than documented, and many do not even realize they have the condition. Increasing awareness of this disorder will help create a forum where sufferers can find a place of refuge to spark conversation and find support.