Dim light melatonin onset and circadian temperature during a constant routine in hypersomnic winter depression

Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
K DahlP N Prinz


The onset of melatonin secretion under dim light conditions (DLMO) and the circadian temperature rhythm during a constant routine were assessed in 6 female controls and 6 female patients with winter depression (seasonal affective disorder, SAD) before and after bright light treatment. After sleep was standardized for 6 days, the subjects were sleep-deprived and at bedrest for 27 h while core temperature and evening melatonin levels were determined. The DLMO of the SAD patients was phase-delayed compared with controls (2310 vs 2138); with bright light treatment, the DLMO advanced (2310 to 2135). The minimum of the fitted rectal temperature rhythm was phase-delayed in the SAD group compared with the controls (0542 vs 0316); with bright light treatment, the minimum advanced (0542 vs 0336).


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