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BMC Res Notes. 2012 May 7;5:221. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-5-221.

Preliminary evidence that light through the eyelids can suppress melatonin and phase shift dim light melatonin onset.

Author information

1
Lighting Research Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 21 Union Street, Troy, NY 12180, USA. figuem@rpi.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A previous study reported a method for measuring the spectral transmittance of individual human eyelids. A prototype light mask using narrow-band "green" light (λmax = 527 nm) was used to deliver light through closed eyelids in two within-subjects studies. The first study investigated whether an individual-specific light dose could suppress melatonin by 40% through the closed eyelid without disrupting sleep. The light doses were delivered at three times during the night: 1) beginning (while subjects were awake), 2) middle (during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep), and 3) end (during non-REM sleep). The second study investigated whether two individual-specific light doses expected to suppress melatonin by 30% and 60% and delivered through subjects' closed eyelids before the time of their predicted minimum core body temperature would phase delay the timing of their dim light melatonin onset (DLMO).

FINDINGS:

Compared to a dark control night, light delivered through eyelids suppressed melatonin by 36% (p = 0.01) after 60-minute light exposure at the beginning, 45% (p = 0.01) at the middle, and 56% (p < 0.0001) at the end of the night. In the second study, compared to a dark control night, melatonin was suppressed by 25% (p = 0.03) and by 45% (p = 0.009) and circadian phase, as measured by DLMO, was delayed by 17 minutes (p = 0.03) and 71 minutes (ns) after 60-minute exposures to light levels 1 and 2, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

These studies demonstrate that individual-specific doses of light delivered through closed eyelids can suppress melatonin and phase shift DLMO and may be used to treat circadian sleep disorders.

PMID:
22564396
PMCID:
PMC3469368
DOI:
10.1186/1756-0500-5-221
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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