Robert L. Sack

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OBJECTIVE This the second of two articles reviewing the scientific literature on the evaluation and treatment of circadian rhythm sleep disorders (CRSDs), employing the methodology of evidence-based medicine. We herein report on the accumulated evidence regarding the evaluation and treatment of Advamced Sleep Phase Disorder (ASPD), Delayed Sleep Phase(More)
BACKGROUND Most totally blind people have circadian rhythms that are "free-running" (i.e., that are not synchronized to environmental time cues and that oscillate on a cycle slightly longer than 24 hours). This condition causes recurrent insomnia and daytime sleepiness when the rhythms drift out of phase with the normal 24-hour cycle. We investigated(More)
Melatonin's timekeeping function is undoubtedly related to the fact that it is primarily produced during nighttime darkness; that is, melatonin and light occur at opposite times. The human phase response curve (PRC) to melatonin appears to be about 12h out of phase with the PRC to light. These striking complementarities, together with light's acute(More)
A physiological dose of orally administered melatonin shifts circadian rhythms in humans according to a phase-response curve (PRC) that is nearly opposite in phase with the PRCs for light exposure: melatonin delays circadian rhythms when administered in the morning and advances them when administered in the afternoon or early evening. The human melatonin(More)
Several circadian rhythms have been used to assess the phase of the endogenous circadian pacemaker (ECP). However, when more than one marker rhythm is measured, results do not always agree. Questions then inevitably arise. Are there multiple oscillators? Are some markers more reliable than others? Masking is a problem for all marker rhythms. Masking of(More)
Masking is known to affect a variety of circadian rhythms, making it difficult to use them as reliable markers of circadian phase position. Melatonin may be unique in that it appears to be masked only by (bright) light. Sleep and activity do not appear to influence the melatonin rhythm. By measuring the onset of melatonin production, a clearly demarcated(More)
OBJECTIVE This the first of two articles reviewing the scientific literature on the evaluation and treatment of circadian rhythm sleep disorders (CRSDs), employing the methodology of evidence-based medicine. In this first part of this paper, the general principles of circadian biology that underlie clinical evaluation and treatment are reviewed. We then(More)
BACKGROUND According to the phase-shift hypothesis for winter depression, morning light (which causes a circadian phase advance) should be more antidepressant than evening light (which causes a delay). Although no studies have shown evening light to be more antidepressant than morning light, investigations have shown either no difference or morning light to(More)
Bright light can suppress nighttime melatonin production in humans, but ordinary indoor light does not have this effect. This finding 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) significantly improved after 1 week of exposure to(More)
The present investigation used a placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover design to assess the sleep-promoting effect of three melatonin replacement delivery strategies in a group of patients with age-related sleep-maintenance insomnia. Subjects alternated between treatment and "washout" conditions in 2-week trials. The specific treatment strategies for(More)