Effects of light treatment on sleep structure in seasonal affective disorder

  • Timo Partonen
  • Björn Appelberg
  • Markku Partinen
Original Articles


Twelve outpatients with seasonal affective disorder (depression, winter type) were treated by 1 h of bright light exposure for five mornings. The intervention produced a significant reduction in depression scores, but no change was seen in the sleep electroencephalographic variables recorded after light treatment. Significant changes were seen, however, in ratings of subjective sleepiness. The acrophase of the circadian sleepiness rhythm was phase advanced, the mean level of the sleepiness rhythm was diminished, and the mean values of sleepiness scores were reduced at 8 and 10 a.m. This minimal influence of bright light on sleep structure is unlikely to expalin the well-documented antidepressant effect.

Key words

Seasonal affective disorder Sleep electroencephalography 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timo Partonen
    • 1
  • Björn Appelberg
    • 1
    • 2
  • Markku Partinen
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Ullanlinna Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research CentreHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity Central Hospital of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Kivelä HospitalHelsinkiFinland

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