Phase-shifting effects of bright morning light as treatment for delayed sleep phase syndrome

ArticleinSleep 13(4):354-61 · September 1990with13 Reads
Source: PubMed
Bright light has recently been shown to have phase-shifting effects on human circadian rhythms. In this study we applied this effect to 20 patients with delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS) who were unable to fall asleep at conventional clock times and had a problem staying alert in the morning. In a controlled treatment study, we found that 2 h of bright light exposure in the morning together with light restriction in the evening successfully phase advanced circadian rhythms of core body temperature and multiple sleep latencies in these patients. This finding corroborates the importance of light for entraining human circadian rhythms.
    • "DSPD in adolescents is common and probably associated with hormonal changes that occur at puberty. The exact causes of DSPD are not actually known, but light exposure after minimum core body temperature and dim light during the evening have been shown to advance the phase of the biological clock of persons with DSPD [8]. Using this information, field studies [9] were conducted to investigate the impact of light exposures on dim light melatonin onset (DLMO), a primary marker for the timing of the biological clock, and on sleep duration for two populations of eighth graders. "
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    • "Melatonin supplements have been touted as a way to increase total sleep time but further evidence regarding effectiveness is required (Wade et al., 2007). Behavioral interventions involving the correct timing and exposure to daylight (the primary resetting mechanism of the internal body clock) may be equally or more effective than melatonin (Rosenthal et al., 1990). "
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    • "There is increasing evidence that such nonpharmacological approaches produce reliable and durable sleep improvements. Comprehensive treatment is likely to include combinations of sleep hygiene education [1], including the regularization of the sleep/wake pattern across the week [2]; early morning bright light exposure [3] ; stimulus control therapy [4]; and cognitive therapy to address unhelpful sleep beliefs [5]. Thus, behavioral and cognitive strategies have extensive empirical support for adults [6]. "
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