How can I help my father in law return to a more normal sleep pattern?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 05, 2016
Sswink asked...

How can I help my father in law return to a more normal sleep/wake pattern. He has started waking @ 2:45am and staying up all day. He goes to bed at 8:30pm. He has recently moved back to his primary home.

Expert Answers

Steven Y. Park, M.D., is a board-certified otolaryngologist specializing in diagnosing and treating sleep-breathing problems such as obstructive sleep apnea, snoring, and upper airway resistance syndrome. Park is a blogger ( and author of the book Sleep, Interrupted: A Physician Reveals the #1 Reason Why So Many of Us Are Sick and Tired.

Assuming there are no other medical issues that can disrupt your father-in-law to have these sleep patterns, it sounds like he has advanced sleep phase syndrome. It's seen more commonly in the elderly. One recommended course of treatment is to use bright light therapy (4000 lux) from about 8 PM to 10 PM. This delays the sleep clock gradually. It may take a few days to weeks for the body to adjust. There are a number of other cognitive and behavioral issues for insomnia that should be addressed. If you want, you can easily find these insomnia tips easily on the internet or your local bookstore. It sounds like moving back to his primary home may have triggered something.