An essential component to good health is maintaining sufficient high-quality sleep and normal 24-hour rhythms in sleep/wake and hormone cycles. When people become chronically exposed to insufficient sleep due to insomnia, co-morbid conditions, or work schedule, many other health problems can result including mental illness, weight gain, cognitive function, and increased risk of diseases such as hypertension and cancer.

Importantly, improving sleep and 24-hour (circadian) rhythmicity can help with recovery and treatment response in many of these conditions. For example, we have found that early morning bright light therapy can improve symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity in adults with ADHD through shifting the internal biological clock. This internal clock regulates 24-h control of the production and release of many of the brain’s chemicals. As a result, a better understanding of this system may lead to novel ‘chronotherapy’ treatments -- the time of day at which patients take their medications can improve treatment response and reduce side effects.