About 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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3 thoughts on “About N24 Awareness Day

  1. I have been diagnosed with narcalepsy and cataplexy after reading your article I believe I am suffering N24 I never sleep more than 3 hours I can’t work now I can’t make plans for outings with friends if I do I almost always have to cancel at the last minute my 24 hour day consists of short naps with short bursts of energy followed by zombie tiredness . I am now trying liquid melatonin but still only 4 to5 hrs sleep at a time. My children have suffered the most ,for example I have sent them of to Xmas lunch at my families while I sleep the day away, not being able to attend school functions or if I do get there I fall asleep ,embarrassing them and myself. Even if you explain your disorder over and over again people just can’t comprehend the severity of the symptoms and its effect on your life. My family has learnt not to rely on me, but they have been very supportive and tell me I’m a great mum. I often make cupcakes at 2am when they come home from clubbing I’m there handing out toasted sandwiches making coffee and finding blankets for the friends.
    It took me ten years to be diagnosed.

    1. Jennifer, it sounds like you might have N24 or maybe one of the other circadian rhythm disorders such as ISWD (Irregular Sleep-Wake Syndrome) or DSPS (Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder.) It is so frustrating to try to get sleep disorders diagnosed properly! I feel for you with the ten year struggle for diagnosis!

      And, yes, people just don’t understand sleep disorders well at all. It is good that you have a supportive family and that you are able to do positive things for others from where you are. Staying connected with others is so important for our quality of life.

      Thank you for being here for N24 Awareness Day and contributing to the increased awareness of N24 and all sleep disorders and for supporting the need for more awareness and understanding.

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