Lighten Your Mood By Improving Your Sleep

Summary: Exploring the link between sleep problems and depression, and how to deal with the emotional toll.
Air Date: 10/27/12
Duration: 60
Host: Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Guest Bio: Dr. Michael Terman, PhD
Michael Terman, Ph.D., is a leading authority on the circadian clock and the role that light plays in regulating it. As head of the Center for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, he has been on the forefront of developing and testing effective approaches to treating mood and sleep problems with minimal or no use of drugs. He is the founder and president of the Center for Environmental Therapeutics (, an independent nonprofit devoted to teaching both those who are suffering from sleep problems and the professionals who are treating them.

Dr. Terman and his work have been featured on 20/20, CBS Early Show, CNN Headline News, NBC Today Show, NPR All Things Considered, as well as various print publications including The Boston Globe, Psychology Today, Allure Magazine, Self Magazine, and many others. He received his doctoral degree in physiological psychology from Brown University in 1968. He is Professor of Clinical Psychology in Psychiatry at Columbia, Research Scientist VI at the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI), and Director of the Center for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

For the first part of his career, Michael concentrated on laboratory studies of biological rhythms and sensory perception in animals, especially their reactions to daily cycles of light and darkness. In the early 1980's, when such effects were first demonstrated in humans, he turned in a clinical direction, with studies of the antidepressant effects of light therapy, sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health. He joined the faculty of Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons and NYSPI, where he established the Clinical Chronobiology and Winter Depression Programs, in which several hundred patients have participated in treatment trials and studies of physiological responses. This work led to a set of new non-drug therapies including 10,000 lux light, dawn/dusk simulation and high-density negative air ionization. In 1988, he was a co-founder with Anna Wirz-Justice of the Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms (SLTBR), which he served as President (1991-93). With Douglas Holmes, Gustave Manasse and Cynthia Neely, he founded CET in 1994. Michael chaired the Task Force on Light Treatment for Sleep Disorders (American Academy of Sleep Medicine and SLTBR), and currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Biological Rhythms. In a 35+ year collaboration with his wife, Dr. Jiuan Su, the Terman lab has produced more than 200 scientific publications.
Lighten Your Mood By Improving Your Sleep
Sleep problems, depression, and fatigue can create a frustrating cycle.

Psychologist Michael Terman, who has a doctorate in physiological psychology, has devoted his career to studying the brain functions that feed these disorders.

Terman shares his findings and dives into revelations from his new book, Chronotherapy: Resetting Your Inner Clock to Boost Mood, Alertness, and Quality Sleep. Chronotherapy focuses on the use of rhythmic cycles in therapy. Terman, who co-authored the book with developmental psychologist Ian McMahan, helps readers understand their internal clocks and overcome health obstacles such as around-the-clock work schedules.

His approach has helped thousands of sleep sufferers and those who struggle with seasonal affective disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, and more.

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