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

Sleep. 1990 Aug;13(4):354-61.


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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arousal
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Humans
  • Phototherapy / methods*
  • Reaction Time
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / therapy
  • Sleep Stages
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / therapy*