The role of melatonin in sleepiness, vigilance, sensory processing, and sleep


  • Light conditions with melanopic effects lead to effective melatonin suppression. However, this does not affect early sensory processing, sleep quality or levels of vigilance and sleepiness.

Why this matters

  • Pre-sleep exposure to short-wavelength light has been shown to suppresses melatonin and decreases sleepiness. Since metameric light conditions have recently become available in clinical research, the relevance of specific retinal receptors and subsequent changes in melatonin levels and sleep can be now investigated.

  • Further studies are needed to gain deeper understanding of the interactions between neuroendocrine response, light, and sleep.