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Brain Res. 1997 Jan 30;747(1):78-84.

Caffeine and light effects on nighttime melatonin and temperature levels in sleep-deprived humans.

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Department of Psychology, Bowling Green State University, OH, USA.


The effects of caffeine ingestion and exposure to bright light, both separately and in combination, on salivary melatonin and tympanic temperature were assessed in humans. Four treatments during a 45.5 h sleep deprivation period were compared: Dim Light-Placebo, Dim Light-Caffeine, Bright Light-Placebo and Bright-Light Caffeine. The Dim Light-Caffeine condition (200 mg twice each night) relative to the Dim Light-Placebo condition suppressed nighttime melatonin levels and attenuated the normal decrease in temperature. Combining caffeine ingestion with bright light exposure (> or = 2000 lux) suppressed melatonin and attenuated the normal nighttime drop in temperature to a larger degree than either condition alone; i.e. effects were additive. Circadian effects were also observed in that the amplitude and phase of the temperature rhythm were altered during treatment. These findings establish that the human melatonin system is responsive to caffeine. Other evidence suggests that caffeine may influence melatonin and temperature levels through antagonism of the neuromodulator adenosine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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