Assessment

Do you want to find out about yourself, or are you are a professional who evaluates others? CET has state-of-the art assessment tools for the public, and for clinicians.

For the public

When does your internal clock think it’s time for you to go to bed?

Your internal clock, also known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus, is located at the bottom of the brain, right above the visual pathway from the eyes in the center of your brain. It sends a signal to the pineal gland, which sits in the center of the brain, telling it to release the hormone melatonin in anticipation of the night ahead. The pineal gland starts releasing the hormone melatonin a few hours before bedtime, gradually letting your body know it is time to go to sleep.

However, people’s natural bedtimes differ by up to six hours. Scientists can determine your natural bedtime by keeping track of the amount of melatonin in your saliva or blood.

Fortunately, researchers have created a simpler way of determining when your natural bedtime is, and this method is one you can use by yourself: the self-assessment version of the AutoMEQ.

The AutoMEQ (for Automated Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire) allows you to determine your circadian rhythm type, including your natural bedtime–unless you are taking psychotropic medications, or have an illness that affects your sleep. It also tells you what time of day would be best for you to start beginning light therapy, if that treatment is appropriate for you.

The AutoMEQ, and two other self-assessments, are available free here. You can take them confidentially to find out more about yourself. If you want to, you can print out the results for yourself, or to share with your doctor or therapist. This can be a very convenient way to start a conversation with your doctor or other health professional because it lets them know you want to address something, and it gives you concrete data to look at.

For Clinicians

Are you a therapist looking for a simple score your clients can use to rate their moods, such as the SIGH-SADS-SR? An ophthalmologist who wants a standard way to determine whether bright light therapy is contraindicated for your patient? A clinician who needs to detect and monitor side effects of light, negative air ion or drug treatment?

Regardless of your profession, you probably face three key questions with each patient or client: What is wrong? How can I treat it? How can I tell if treatment is working?

To help you answer these questions with confidence, CET’s experts at the Clinical Chronobiology and Biometrics Research groups at Columbia University’s Psychiatric Institute have selected some of the most authoritative and easy-to-use tools available for chronotherapy, and put them on one web page.

Check this curated collection to find gems which will enable you to determine the best treatment for a given patient, improve the care you give, and measure the effects of what you do so you can assess progress objectively.

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