Rest-activity cycle and melatonin rhythm in blind free-runners have similar periods

Jonathan Emens, Alfred Lewy, Amber L. Laurie, Jeannie B. Songer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


In the absence of the entraining light-dark cycle, most totally blind humans free-run, albeit with relative coordination to nonphotic zeitgebers. Such blind free-runners (BFRs) often attempt to maintain a 24-h sleep-wake schedule and consequently suffer from recurrent sleep disruption and daytime somnolence. This study was conducted to determine the periods of the free-running melatonin rhythm and of the rest-activity cycle in 16 BFRs. It was found that the non-24-h component of the rest-activity rhythm correlated with the observed period of the circadian pacemaker.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-384
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of biological rhythms
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • blindness
  • circadian
  • entrainment
  • human
  • melatonin
  • relative coordination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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