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What is chronotherapeutics?

Chronotherapeutics  or Chronotherapy is the use of light and sometimes exercise to help reset a person’s biological circadian clock. This might be helpful in alleviating the unpleasantness of  jet lag, for shift workers, or people who either go to bed too early stay up too late, or work irregular schedules.  This type of therapy usually involves light therapy at a specific illumination, at a very specific time.
A person's internal biological rhythms are vulnerable to drifting away from local day and night, causing problems with mood, energy and sleep. Chronotherapeutics uses such therapies as bright light therapy, dawn-dusk simulation, and melatonin to resynchronize the internal clock. In many cases this has resulted in major clinical improvement and even remission of symptoms. Sleep and mood are intimately connected, and sleeping out of sync with your clock may be responsible for mood and energy problems: the shifted sleep is not just a symptom of depression.
Chronotherapeutics is a novel set of biological rhythm correction procedures designed to:
  • establish normal sleep onset time for people who cannot fall asleep until it is too late, or have trouble waking up because of fragmented sleep.
  • relieve winter depression (seasonal affective disorder, SAD) or the milder winter doldrums or winter blues.
  • alleviate symptoms of unipolar and bipolar depression, whether or not the depression is seasonal.
  • increase daytime alertness and reduce slumping in the afternoon and evening.
  • substitute light therapy for drugs during pregnancy.
  • improve cognitive performance, mood and sleep in adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
  • work effectively when drugs have not worked, worked only partially, or cannot be tolerated.
  • work effectively in conjunction with antidepressants and mood stabilizers.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.