Effects of an advanced sleep schedule and morning short wavelength light exposure on circadian phase in young adults with late sleep schedules.

Research paper by Katherine M KM Sharkey, Mary A MA Carskadon, Mariana G MG Figueiro, Yong Y Zhu, Mark S MS Rea

Indexed on: 28 Jun '11Published on: 28 Jun '11Published in: Sleep Medicine


We examined the effects of an advanced sleep/wake schedule and morning short wavelength (blue) light in 25 adults (mean age±SD=21.8±3 years; 13 women) with late sleep schedules and subclinical features of delayed sleep phase disorder (DSPD).After a baseline week, participants kept individualized, fixed, advanced 7.5-h sleep schedules for 6days. Participants were randomly assigned to groups to receive "blue" (470nm, ∼225lux, n=12) or "dim" (<1lux, n=13) light for 1h after waking each day. Head-worn "Daysimeters" measured light exposure; actigraphs and sleep diaries confirmed schedule compliance. Salivary dim light melatonin onset (DLMO), self-reported sleep, and mood were examined with 2×2 ANOVA.After 6days, both groups showed significant circadian phase advances, but morning blue light was not associated with larger phase shifts than dim-light exposure. The average DLMO advances (mean±SD) were 1.5±1.1h in the dim light group and 1.4±0.7h in the blue light group.Adherence to a fixed advanced sleep/wake schedule resulted in significant circadian phase shifts in young adults with subclinical DSPD with or without morning blue light exposure. Light/dark exposures associated with fixed early sleep schedules are sufficient to advance circadian phase in young adults.