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Director: Patrice BOURGIN
+ 33 88 11 64 30

Coordinator: Laurence HUGUENY
+ 33 88 11 63 12

+ 33 88 11 64 30


Hôpitaux Universitaires de Strasbourg
CIRCSom - UF 3217
1 place de l’hôpital
F - 67091 Strasbourg Cedex


  • Elisabeth RUPPERT
  • Carmen SCHRÖDER
  • Juliette CHAMBE
  • Henri COMTET
  • Ülker HUCK-KILIC
  • Julie TEULADE
  • Laurent CALVEL
  • Antoine VIOLA
  • Nathalie RAMOS
  • Ludivine ROBIN-CHOTEAU
  • Fanny FUCHS
  • Enise YAVUZ

CIRCSom - International Research Center for ChronoSomnology

Version imprimable

Joined to Sleep Disorders Center
Strasbourg University Hospital - University of Strasbourg

Team 9 : "Light, Circadian Rhythms, Sleep Homeostasis and Neuropsychiatry – CNRS – UPR 3212 – Institute for Cellular and Integrative Neurosciences

CIRCSom is a unique platform

CIRCSom is a joint project between the University Hospital and INCI (Neuroscience Institute Cellular and Integrative) and will - as a human laboratory - match, in a functional sense, the Chronobiotron, which is itself a unique platform for studying animal chronobiology.

The extreme novelty of CIRCSom comes from its location within the Sleep Clinic of the Neurology Department and adjacent to the Psychiatry and Child Psychiatry Departments.

CIRCSom benefits from the multidisciplinary expertise combining clinicians and researchers from the fields of chronobiology, sleep, neurology and booth adult and child psychiatry, members of the research team associated with the platform.

This highly specific structure enables the study of sleep and circadian regulation in patients including debilitating disorders such as children affected by autism or other forms of severe neurodevelopmental disorders and adult patients affected by neurodegeneration (Parkinson disease, Lewy body dementia...).

As such, CIRCSom functions as a unique transversal structure for the examination of sleep/vigilance and circadian regulation in healthy subjects and in patients with neuropsychiatric disorders from childhood to older adulthood. Furthermore, the strong interaction with the Chronobiotron allows a translational approach from nocturnal and diurnal rodents to healthy humans and patients. Given proper expertise, appropriate research structure and necessary technical support, controlled chronobiological protocols of sleep and circadian regulatory mechanisms are performed.

CIRCSom’s research focuses on the role of the direct effects of light on sleep and alertness, as well as their interaction with the more classical sleep regulatory mechanisms, the circadian drive and the sleep homeostatic process. Therefore, all five bedrooms (including bathrooms) are equipped with a ceiling that gives the possibility to finely adjust spectrum and intensity of light, apply different light/dark regimes and long/short photoperiods.
The ultimate goal is to investigate the functional interactions between sleep/vigilance, circadian rhythm regulation, sleep homeostatic process and the role of light in neuropsychiatric disorders.

CIRCSom is a state of the art research facility designed for investigating sleep and chronobiology in healthy subjects and patients

CIRCSom is a unique tool for sleep and chronobiological investigations in fundamental and clinical research with no equivalent structure in the world regarding its technical facilities and expertise for light exposure in constant routine conditions in healthy subjects and patients, including children and debilitating disorders.

A rich collaborative network includes academic research centers, technology companies from the private sector and pharmaceutical industry. Ongoing projects further develop CIRCSom as an educational center in sleep medicine and chronobiology.

The need to better understand regulatory mechanisms for sleep and alertness with a focus on the effects of light are of major importance given the abundance of artificial light exposure in modern societies and the high prevalence of sleep disorders, social jet lag and their impact on mood and cognition.

CIRCSom's platform

  • 5 individual state of the art sleep and chronobiology bedrooms controlled level "constant routine“ with:
    • Soundproofing
    • Range of temperature of 16°C (62.6°F)  to 28°C (82.4°F) degree meadows
    • controlled lighting in bedroom, bathroom and entry-sas
    • Anti-sas for biological sample collections
    • High density EEG video polysomnography
    • Design for adults and children including patients with locomotor or behavioral handicap 
  • 1 monitor room 24H/24 with:
    • Video and live polysomnographic return per room
    • Monitor controlled Temperature and light
  • 1 nursing room for sampling of biological fluids (blood, urine, saliva, CSF) with centrifuge - freezer ...
  • Analysis room: dedicated Computers for data analysis with Curry7 software...

Specific lighting

Each of the 5 controlled bedrooms including bathrooms have a special ceiling for homogenous lighting conditions with control of numerous parameters:

  • Polychromatic white light that can be enriched in cold colors (blue-enriched white light), warm colors (red-enriched white light)…
  • Monochromatic light: blue, green, red
  • Monochromatic and white combined
  • Wide range of intensities: from 1 to 20000 lux at bed level
  • Long or short photoperiods
  • Straight or square transitions
  • Alternating light/dark conditions

The control module allows programming combos of temperature and light exposure (intensity, color and alternating regimens) over a predefined period of seven days maximum, reproducible, with integration of various markers into video polysomnographic recordings

Chronobiological protocols for studies on sleep / wake mechanisms and circadian regulation in healthy subjects and patients including debilitating disorders

  • Chronobiological protocols in constant routine with high and low sleep pressure  conditions (sleep deprivation and sequential multiple nap protocols) as well as forced desynchrony (Basel protocol, coll. Ch. Cajochen).
  • Associated to specific light exposures using monochromatic (blue, red, green) and color enriched white light in a wide range of intensities or different light/dark regimens inducing circadian phase shifts, long/short photoperiods, ultradian light /dark cycles, dim light melatonin onset (DLMO) and melatonin suppression by light.

Measurements and data analysis




  • Quantitative and qualitative analysis of Sleep, EEG, local sleep (256 electrodes); EEG power spectrum
  • Subjective and objective evaluations of sleepiness and vigilance
  • Specific evaluation of sleep disorders
  • Mood, cognitive and neuropsychiatric evaluations
  • Measures of various parameters with circadian rhythmicity: melatonin (phase, amplitude, suppression by light) in blood, saliva and urine; other endocrine rhythms (cortisol, TSH..); core body temperature, variables of the autonomous nervous system through EKG, blood pressure monitoring and specific data analyses
  • Biological evaluation of wake promoting systems: CSF hypocretin and histamin assessments
  • Studies of the endogenous clock through genetic tools on cell culture Genetics: Genotyping (PER3 genotype, HLA typing …)
  • Banking: Genomic DNA (GWS – LSS), serum, saliva, CSF
  • Ongoing project for sleep data collection and analyses: (high density EEG, possibility to fusion with MRI and fMRI)

Industrial Partners for development

Philips, Barrisol, Compumedics

Collaborative research network

Collaborative research network including world-renowned sleep and chronobiology centers: France (Lyon, Paris, Bordeaux, Lille), Basel, Zurich, Lausanne, Amsterdam, Stanford,...


Grants and scientific network

Grants and scientific network include Translational Medicine Federation Strasbourg (FMTS), Centre de Compétences Hypersomnies rares, FHU, NeuroTime, Neurex, Neuropôle, STRAS-autisme, BioValley France, Eurométropôle de Strasbourg, PHRC.

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