Sleep and circadian rhythms in the blind

Jonathan S. Emens, Alfred J. Lewy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


In the majority of totally blind individuals, the biological clock is no longer synchronized, or entrained, by the light/dark cycle. Despite exposure to regular social cues, meal times and sleep/wake schedules, the circadian phase (timing) of biological events in these individuals continues to drift to a progressively later (or, rarely, earlier) hour. As a result, these individuals suffer from periodic bouts of nighttime insomnia and daytime hypersomnolence, as the circadian sleep propensity rhythm moves in and out of synchrony with the 24-hour day. Recently, oral melatonin has been shown to be highly effective in resetting the biological clock in these individuals.1

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNeuroendocrine Correlates of Sleep/Wakefulness
PublisherSpringer US
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780387236926
ISBN (Print)0387236414, 9780387236414
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)


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