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Sleep Med Clin. 2009 Jun;4(2):165-177.

Effect of Light on Human Circadian Physiology.

Abstract

The circadian system in animals and humans, being near but not exactly 24-hours in cycle length, must be reset on a daily basis in order to remain in synchrony with external environmental time. This process of entrainment is achieved in most mammals through regular exposure to light and darkness. In this chapter, we review the results of studies conducted in our laboratory and others over the past 25 years in which the effects of light on the human circadian timing system were investigated. These studies have revealed, how the timing, intensity, duration, and wavelength of light affect the human biological clock. Our most recent studies also demonstrate that there is much yet to learn about the effects of light on the human circadian timing system.

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