Seasonal variation in core temperature regulation during sleep in patients with winter seasonal affective disorder

Paul J. Schwartz, Norman E. Rosenthal, Erick H. Turner, Christopher L. Drake, Victoria Liberty, Thomas A. Wehr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nocturnal core temperature during sleep is elevated during depression compared with remission in nonseasonally depressed patients. Similarly, nocturnal core temperature is higher during winter depression compared with remission induced by light treatment in seasonal affective disorder (SAD) patients. We investigated whether nocturnal core temperature in SAD patients naturally becomes lower in summer (during remission) compared with winter (during depression). Twenty-four-hour core temperature profiles were obtained in winter and summer in 22 SAD patients and 22 controls. The nocturnal core temperature minima were lower in summer compared with winter in SAD patients (p < .005), but nor controls (p > .4). The seasonal changes in nocturnal core temperatures in SAD patients may reflect a unique physiological responsiveness of SAD patients to the change of seasons, and may be intimately related to the seasonal disturbances of mood and energy that are characteristic of SAD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-131
Number of pages10
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 15 1997

Keywords

  • Body temperature
  • Circadian rhythm
  • Depression
  • Light
  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Seasons
  • Skin temperature
  • Thermoregulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry

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