Antidepressant and circadian phase-shifting effects of light

Alfred J. Lewy, Robert L. Sack, L. Stephen Miller, Tana M. Hoban

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

576 Scopus citations


Bright light can suppress nighttime melatonin a production in humans, but ordinary indoor light does not have this effect. This findings suggested that bright light may have other chronobiologic effects in humans as well. Eight patients who regularly became depressed in the winter (as day length shortens) signifcantly improved after 1 week of exposure to bright light in the morning (but not after 1 week of bright light in the evening). The antidepressant response to morning light was accompanied by an advance (shift to an earlier time) in the onset of nighttime melatonin production. These results suggest that timing may be critical for the antidepressant effects of bright light.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)352-354
Number of pages3
Issue number4786
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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