Document Detail

Entrainment of the human circadian clock to the natural light-dark cycle.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23910656     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The electric light is one of the most important human inventions. Sleep and other daily rhythms in physiology and behavior, however, evolved in the natural light-dark cycle [1], and electrical lighting is thought to have disrupted these rhythms. Yet how much the age of electrical lighting has altered the human circadian clock is unknown. Here we show that electrical lighting and the constructed environment is associated with reduced exposure to sunlight during the day, increased light exposure after sunset, and a delayed timing of the circadian clock as compared to a summer natural 14 hr 40 min:9 hr 20 min light-dark cycle camping. Furthermore, we find that after exposure to only natural light, the internal circadian clock synchronizes to solar time such that the beginning of the internal biological night occurs at sunset and the end of the internal biological night occurs before wake time just after sunrise. In addition, we find that later chronotypes show larger circadian advances when exposed to only natural light, making the timing of their internal clocks in relation to the light-dark cycle more similar to earlier chronotypes. These findings have important implications for understanding how modern light exposure patterns contribute to late sleep schedules and may disrupt sleep and circadian clocks.
Kenneth P Wright; Andrew W McHill; Brian R Birks; Brandon R Griffin; Thomas Rusterholz; Evan D Chinoy
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural     Date:  2013-08-01
Journal Detail:
Title:  Current biology : CB     Volume:  23     ISSN:  1879-0445     ISO Abbreviation:  Curr. Biol.     Publication Date:  2013 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-08-23     Completed Date:  2014-04-22     Revised Date:  2014-08-19    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9107782     Medline TA:  Curr Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1554-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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MeSH Terms
Circadian Clocks / radiation effects*
Young Adult
Grant Support
Comment In:
Curr Biol. 2013 Aug 19;23(16):R689-90   [PMID:  23968925 ]

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