Suppression of men's responses to seasonal changes in day length by modern artificial lighting

T. A. Wehr, H. A. Giesen, D. E. Moul, Erick Turner, P. J. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

87 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We recently reported that humans have conserved mechanisms, like those that exist in other animals, which detect changes in day length and make corresponding adjustments in the duration of nocturnal periods of secretion of melatonin and of other functions. We detected these responses in individuals who were exposed to artificial 'days' of different durations. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether men who are exposed to natural and artificial light in an urban environment at 39° N are still able to detect and respond to seasonal changes in duration of the natural photoperiod. We measured profiles of circadian rhythms during 24-h periods of constant darkness (<1 1x) and found no summer-winter differences in durations of nocturnal periods of active secretion of melatonin, rising levels of cortisol, high levels of thyrotropin, and low levels of rectal temperature. The results of this and our previous study suggest that modern men's use of artificial light suppresses responses to seasonal changes in the natural photoperiod that might otherwise occur at this latitude.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Volume269
Issue number1 38-1/II
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Photoperiod
Melatonin
Lighting
Light
Darkness
Thyrotropin
Circadian Rhythm
Hydrocortisone
Temperature

Keywords

  • body temperature
  • circadian rhythm
  • cortisol
  • light
  • melatonin
  • photoperiod
  • seasons
  • thyrotropin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology

Cite this

Suppression of men's responses to seasonal changes in day length by modern artificial lighting. / Wehr, T. A.; Giesen, H. A.; Moul, D. E.; Turner, Erick; Schwartz, P. J.

In: American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology, Vol. 269, No. 1 38-1/II, 1995.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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