Effect of light and melatonin and other melatonin receptor agonists on human circadian physiology

Jonathan S. Emens, Helen J. Burgess

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

28 Scopus citations


Circadian (body clock) timing has a profound influence on mental health, physical health, and health behaviors. This review focuses on how light, melatonin, and other melatonin receptor agonist drugs can be used to shift circadian timing in patients with misaligned circadian rhythms. A brief overview of the human circadian system is provided, followed by a discussion of patient characteristics and safety considerations that can influence the treatment of choice. The important features of light treatment, light avoidance, exogenous melatonin, and other melatonin receptor agonists are reviewed, along with some of the practical aspects of light and melatonin treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-453
Number of pages19
JournalSleep Medicine Clinics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2015



  • Advance
  • Agonist
  • Circadian
  • Delay
  • Light
  • Melatonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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