N24 Awareness Day, first proposed by Robin Stewart in 2012 and eagerly developed further by the Facebook N24 community, occurs annually on N24 (November 24th) in order to help raise awareness of the condition N24 (Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Syndrome), also known as hypernychthemeral syndrome or free-running sleep disorder.
Although the word “sleep” is in the name of this condition, it affects far more than the sleep cycle, having verified effects on metabolism and many other potential links with other health conditions. It is a severe, rare, chronic and disabling neurological disorder that causes the individual’s “brain clock” to be unable to stay in sync with “nature’s clock,” the 24-hour cycle of light and dark on our planet.
As a result of this disconnect between brain and sun, people with N24 struggle to live in a 24-hour world with a non-24-hour brain. This can cause a wide range of difficulties, including problems with employment, school, family life, and social life, among others. N24 appears to have a genetic component and currently is incurable although it can be managed with some degree of success by using light and dark therapy (in sighted people) and/or melatonin therapy (most effective with totally blind people.)
Roughly 50% of totally blind people have some degree of N24 while sighted N24 is much more rare. The mechanisms, treatments, and manifestations of N24 are typically very different in blind sufferers than in sighted sufferers, leading some with N24 to consider blind and sighted N24 as two distinct but related conditions.
On N24 day, people with N24 are encouraged to write about living with N24 or create other forms of art and communication (videos, paintings, music, audio recordings, etc.) about the lived experience of N24. These can take the form of personal stories, scientific essays, awareness essays, poetry and other symbolic expressions and more.
To share your work with others through this site, contact us at N24awareness@gmail.com
We would be happy to link to your work, mirror your work, or host your work – let us know which you prefer.
This awareness hub is not owned or operated by any organization or entity and does not represent or endorse any group or power. It is a resource by and for all individual people with N24. Together, our voice can be powerful.