Click here to get your
FREE Mental Health Assessment

Hetlioz: Regulating Sleep-Wake Cycles for Enhanced Well-Being

Written byDesiree Smith

In the realm of sleep disorders and circadian rhythm disturbances, medical advancements have introduced innovative medications that aim to restore healthy sleep patterns. One such medication is tasimelteon, also known as Hetlioz. In this blog, we will explore the uses of Hetlioz, as well as what distinguishes it from other medications used to treat similar issues.

What Is Tasimelteon?

Tasimelteon, or Hetlioz, as it is more commonly known as, is a medication that has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder (Non-24), in individuals who are totally blind. It belongs to a class of medications known as melatonin receptor agonists, which makes it different from other sleep medications. Tasimelteon specifically targets to improve the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle.

Why Is Tasimelteon Used?

Tasimelteon is primarily used for Non-24, which is a sleep disorder that specifically affects individuals who are totally blind. In Non-24, the internal body clock that regulates the sleep-wake cycle does not align with the 24-hour day-night cycle. This misalignment can lead to irregular sleep patterns, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep at night, and excessive sleepiness during the day. Tasimelteon helps to regulate the sleep-wake cycle by promoting better sleep and wakefulness patterns in individuals with Non-24.

How Does Tasimelteon Work?

Tasimelteon works by binding to specific receptors in the brain known as melatonin receptors. Melatonin is a naturally-occurring hormone that plays a critical role in regulating a person’s sleep-wake cycle. It is released by the pineal gland in response to darkness, signaling the body to prepare for sleep. Tasimelteon mimics the effects of melatonin, helping to reset the internal body clock and synchronize it with the 24-hour day-night cycle. By doing so, it promotes the establishment of a regular sleep pattern and improves overall sleep quality.

Who Can Benefit from Tasimelteon?

Tasimelteon is specifically indicated for individuals who are totally blind and experience Non-24. This sleep disorder is more prevalent among people who lack light perception, as their internal body clock may not receive the necessary cues from the environment to properly regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Tasimelteon offers a targeted treatment approach for this specific population, helping to align their sleep patterns with the 24-hour day-night cycle.

It is important to note that tasimelteon is approved for use in adults 18 years and older, however, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to discuss individual circumstances and medical history to determine if it is an appropriate treatment choice. The healthcare professional will evaluate the risks and benefits to determine whether it is the best course of action.

The Takeaway

Tasimelteon (Hetlioz) represents a significant breakthrough in the treatment of Non-24 Sleep-Wake Disorder in individuals who are totally blind. By targeting melatonin receptors in the brain, this medication helps to regulate the sleep-wake cycle and establish a more synchronized sleep pattern. It offers a unique treatment option for individuals experiencing sleep disturbances related to Non-24. If you or a loved one are totally blind and struggling with irregular sleep patterns, consult with a healthcare professional to explore the potential benefits and risks of tasimelteon and determine if it is the right fit for your sleep needs.


Food and Drug Administration. (2014). Hetlioz [prescribing information]. Retrieved from

Lockley, S. W., Dressman, M. A., Licamele, L., Xiao, C., Fisher, D. M., Flynn-Evans, E. E., ... & Moul, D. E. (2015). Tasimelteon for non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder in totally blind people (SET and RESET): two multicentre, randomised, double-masked, placebo-controlled phase 3 trials. The Lancet, 386(10005), 1754-1764.

National Sleep Foundation. (2020). Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder. Retrieved from

Looking for help? Check out these resources.

Please consult the following resources if you or a loved one need immediate attention.


Suicide Prevention

If you or someone you know is at risk, reach out for help.

Call 988


Medical Emergency

Get the medical attention 
you need ASAP.

Call 911

Take Control of Your Mental Health.
Get Started With iTrust.

We’re ready to help you feel like yourself again.

Free Mental Health Assessment