PURPOSE: Instead of a chaotic non circadian environmental approach, continuing regular day-night rhythm in neonatal nurseries may benefit the development of preterm infants. The purpose of this study was to define the effects of cycled lighting on circadian rhythms of premature infants. METHODS: The experimental group included 15 preterm infants, and the control group, 15 premature infants in the NICU of a general hospital in Seoul. All infants were between 32 and 37 weeks' postconceptional age. The experimental group infants were provided with cycled lighting before discharge. The incubator or bassinet cover of the experimental group was off between 7 AM and 7 PM, and was covered between 7 PM and 7 AM. RESULTS: There were significant differences in the NNNS score (p=.039), and some significant differences in the sleep-activity pattern between the experimental group and the control group, but distinct differences in sleep-activity patterns between the two groups could not be defined. CONCLUSION: The results of this study suggest that cycled lighting can be helpful in the neurobehavioral development of preterm infants. By modifying the NICU environment to provide a more developmentally supportive milieu, nursing professionals can better meet the infants' physiologic and neurobehavioral needs.