N24 Awareness Day

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.

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About unstrangemind

I am an adult Autistic. I've come so far; I have so far to go. I've named my blog after Grinker's excellent book, "Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism." Other than borrowing from his title (do you know how difficult it is to find a wordpress name that hasn't already been taken?!) I have no connection with Dr. Grinker.

7 thoughts on “N24 Awareness Day

  1. Hey there – THANKS for this. The comment below has been (or will be) left on EVERY site linked to my N-24 Day post (now, including yours!)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    November 24th is N-24 Awareness Day and we need YOUR help!

    YOUR article is linked as Related Content to my 2013 N-24 post — which also contains, among other useful sleep disorders information, links to a relatively new non-profit, The Circadian Sleep Disorders Network [CSDN]. Please take the time to check it out and share the information with your clients and readers. THANKS.
    ~~~~~
    N-24 is one of the disorders of sleep TIMING — Delayed (and Advanced) Sleep Phase Disorders are 2 more). In N-24 a person’s brain and body, essentially, insist that the day is longer than 24 hours, so sufferers are unable to sleep until later and later each night — how much later depends on how much longer their “body-day” is than the standard 24 hour day here on earth.

    As you can imagine, sufferers who are ABLE to maintain employment live seriously sleep-deprived and suffer the health consequences, since they cannot fall asleep early enough to be rested before morning comes and its time to get to work!

    UNFORTUNATELY, N-24 is (almost always) reported to affect primarily the blind (who cannot see to rephase to light) — but the SAD reality is that is has rarely been **studied** in the MANY individuals in the sighted community — so there is currently NO scientific basis for that rumor, contrasted with a great deal of anecdotal report that it is inaccurate.

    CSDN hopes to increase the availability of Circadian Sleep Disorders information on the web while correcting the misinformation (EVEN on almost every other sleep site that hasn’t yet responded). They are lobbying for more research leading to more effective treatment options in the ENTIRE sleep disorders community, with a focus on disorder of sleep-TIMING.

    ~~~~~
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    and SIGHTED N-24 sufferer for 65 years now
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

      1. PERMISSION? I’d be honored.

        You also have my permission to grab anything from my blog’s Sleep Series (extant or upcoming) that might be useful or might help.

        I just want to see this SOLVED before I die (which we all know probably will NOT be in my sleep ::grin::)

        Thank YOU for your shoulders to a common wheel.
        xx,
        mgh
        ADDandSoMuchMore dot com

  2. This is my “status” on Facebook today:

    Today, November 24, is N24 AWARENESS DAY 2013. N24, short for Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder, is, among sighted people, the most debilitating of the circadian rhythm disorders. (Among the blind it has a different cause and is most often treatable.) I have “only” its little brother, DSPS/DSPD, which gives me just an inkling of how N24 is. What we have in common is fatigue and the fact that our sleep patterns are abnormal and inflexible.

    People with N24 cannot keep to the 24-hour day on this planet. While normal people usually are awake for about 16 hours and sleep for about 8 hours, N24 people are awake for about 17 hours and sleep for about 9 hours (plus/minus) for a “day” much longer than 24 hours. That means that if they woke up at 8 a.m. today, they’ll awaken at 10 tomorrow, noon the day after, 2 p.m. the day after that and so on around the clock. This makes them have great difficulty getting an education; it generally makes them unemployable; and it makes it nearly impossible for them to make and keep any appointment.

    Today is AWARENESS day. Please don’t judge people who have invisible disabilities; they have enough to struggle with as it is. Thanks!

    1. @delayed2sleep

      As much as I find FB a TRUE toleration, its worth going on this “morning”** to copy and post — thank you SO much. GREAT status update (**fitting that I awakened well-after 6 *P*m on N-24 Day, huh)

      Would you ALSO leave it as a comment on ADDandSoMuchMore (if I do it, it will post like I wrote it, and I’ve already posted mine) THANKS!

      I also have to get to LinkedIn (my other favorite toleration) and figure out what to do there, since the last thing before I ‘passed out” after being up all night, was a “try later/won’t work now” message from WordPress as I attempted to link in my groups.

      REAL time – real off-sync struggles – real N-24!!

      xx,
      mgh

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