Human phase response curve to intermittent blue light using a commercially available device.
ABSTRACT Key points Misalignment between the internal circadian clock driving daily rhythms in physiology and behaviour, such as sleepiness, performance and metabolism, and the sleep-wake schedule, as occurs in jet lag and night shift work, can have profound, harmful consequences for health, performance and safety. Light applied at specific times of day can be used to shift the timing of the clock and reduce this circadian misalignment. We show for the first time that a small, commercially available, portable blue light device is capable of shifting the clock when it is administered daily over a 2 h window (90 min blue light as 30 min pulses with 15 min breaks). The direction and amount that the clock is shifted depends on the time of day that the light is administered. The results of this work provide a practical, effective light treatment that can be used in the real world.
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ABSTRACT: Light exposure elicits numerous effects on human physiology and behavior, such as better cognitive performance and mood. Here we investigated the role of morning light exposure as a countermeasure for impaired cognitive performance and mood under sleep restriction (SR). Seventeen participants took part of a 48h laboratory protocol, during which three different light settings (separated by 2 wks) were administered each morning after two 6-h sleep restriction nights: a blue monochromatic LED (light-emitting diode) light condition (BL; 100 lux at 470 nm for 20 min) starting 2 h after scheduled wake-up time, a dawn-simulating light (DsL) starting 30 min before and ending 20 min after scheduled wake-up time (polychromatic light gradually increasing from 0 to 250 lux), and a dim light (DL) condition for 2 h beginning upon scheduled wake time (<8 lux). Cognitive tasks were performed every 2 h during scheduled wakefulness, and questionnaires were administered hourly to assess subjective sleepiness, mood, and well-being. Salivary melatonin and cortisol were collected throughout scheduled wakefulness in regular intervals, and the effects on melatonin were measured after only one light pulse. Following the first SR, analysis of the time course of cognitive performance during scheduled wakefulness indicated a decrease following DL, whereas it remained stable following BL and significantly improved after DsL. Cognitive performance levels during the second day after SR were not significantly affected by the different light conditions. However, after both SR nights, mood and well-being were significantly enhanced after exposure to morning DsL compared with DL and BL. Melatonin onset occurred earlier after morning BL exposure, than after morning DsL and DL, whereas salivary cortisol levels were higher at wake-up time after DsL compared with BL and DL. Our data indicate that exposure to an artificial morning dawn simulation light improves subjective well-being, mood, and cognitive performance, as compared with DL and BL, with minimal impact on circadian phase. Thus, DsL may provide an effective strategy for enhancing cognitive performance, well-being, and mood under mild sleep restriction.Chronobiology International 07/2013; · 4.35 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Photic phase response curves (PRCs) have been extensively studied in many laboratory-bred diurnal and nocturnal rodents. However, comparatively fewer studies have addressed the effects of photic cues on wild diurnal mammals. Hence, we studied the effects of short durations of light pulses on the circadian systems of the diurnal Indian Palm squirrel, Funambulus pennanti. Adult males entrained to a light-dark cycle (12 h-12 h) were transferred to constant darkness (DD). Free-running animals were exposed to brief light pulses (250 lux) of 15 min, 3 circadian hours (CT) apart (CT 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18 and 21). Phase shifts evoked at different phases were plotted against CT and a PRC was constructed. F. pennanti exhibited phase-dependent phase shifts at all the CTs studied, and the PRC obtained was of type 1 at the intensity of light used. Phase advances were evoked during the early subjective day and late subjective night, while phase delays occurred during the late subjective day and early subjective night, with maximum phase delay at CT 15 (-2.04 ± 0.23 h), and maximum phase advance at CT 21 (1.88 ± 0.31 h). No dead zone was seen at this resolution. The free-running period of the rhythm was concurrently lengthened (deceleration) during the late subjective day and early subjective night, while period shortening (acceleration) occurred during the late subjective night. The maximum deceleration was noticed at CT 15 (-0.40 ± 0.09 h) and the maximum acceleration at CT 21 (0.39 ± 0.07 h). A significant positive correlation exists between the phase shifts and the period changes (r = 0.684, p = 0.001). The shapes of both the PRC and period response curve (τRC) qualitatively resemble each other. This suggests that the palm squirrel's circadian system is entrained both by phase and period responses to light. Thus, F. pennanti exhibits robust clock-resetting in response to light pulses.Chronobiology International 11/2013; · 4.35 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Disturbances in circadian rhythms have been associated with major depression and may be an underlying mechanism for the disorder. Resynchronisation of circadian rhythms may provide a new approach to treatment, especially by manipulating melatonin secretion. Melatonin is secreted at night and is a stable marker of circadian rhythms. The timing of its secretion can be changed by exogenous melatonin, agonism of specific melatonin receptors in the suprachiasmatic nucleus, its suppression by light and by sleep deprivation. As part of a series of papers ['Chronobiology of mood disorders' Malhi & Kuiper. Acta Psychiatr Scand 2013;128 (Suppl. 444): 2-15; and 'Getting depression clinical practice guidelines right: time for change?' Kuiper et al. Acta Psychiatr Scand 2013;128 (Suppl. 444): 24-30.] addressing chronobiology, in this article, we conducted a selective review of studies that have examined the antidepressant effects of exogenous melatonin, light therapy, sleep deprivation and melatonin receptor agonists. Antidepressant effects were identified for bright light therapy, especially for seasonal affective disorder; sleep deprivation, although its antidepressant effect is time limited; and for the novel antidepressant agomelatine with agonistic properties for the MT1 and MT2 receptors and antagonism of 5HT2c receptor. The role of melatonin as an antidepressant has yet to be demonstrated. Shifting the circadian secretion of melatonin using the strategies reviewed offers a new approach to treating depression.Acta psychiatrica Scandinavica. Supplementum 01/2013;