Circadian rhythm sleep disorders

Lessons from the blind

Robert Sack, Alfred Lewy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As totally blind people cannot perceive the light-dark cycle (the major synchroniser of the circadian pacemaker) their circadian rhythms often "free run" on a cycle slightly longer than 24h. When the free-running sleep propensity rhythm passes out of phase with the desired time for sleep, night-time insomnia and daytime sleepiness result. It has recently been shown that daily melatonin administration can entrain the circadian pacemaker, thereby correcting this burdensome circadian sleep disorder. The primary purpose of this review is to elevate awareness of circadian sleep disorders in totally blind people (especially free-running rhythms) and to provide some guidance for clinical management. An additional goal is to show how research on sleep and circadian rhythms in the totally blind can contribute insights into the scientific understanding of the human circadian system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-206
Number of pages18
JournalSleep Medicine Reviews
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

Fingerprint

Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders
Sleep
Circadian Rhythm
Running
Photoperiod
Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders
Melatonin
Research
Sleep Wake Disorders

Keywords

  • Blindness
  • Circadian rhythms
  • Insomnia
  • Melatonin
  • Sleep disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Dentistry(all)
  • Ophthalmology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology

Cite this

Circadian rhythm sleep disorders : Lessons from the blind. / Sack, Robert; Lewy, Alfred.

In: Sleep Medicine Reviews, Vol. 5, No. 3, 2001, p. 189-206.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sack, Robert ; Lewy, Alfred. / Circadian rhythm sleep disorders : Lessons from the blind. In: Sleep Medicine Reviews. 2001 ; Vol. 5, No. 3. pp. 189-206.
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