Why artificial light at night is dangerous for your health

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jun 03, 2015

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Quick Bites

  • Artificial light from gadget screens can trigger sleep loss.
  • Prefer printed books over kindle in bed.
  • Avoid gadgets a couple of hours before bedtime.
  • If you have to use such gadgets in bed, use screen filters.

Artificial light may have become essential for smooth functioning of modern societies, but according to a recent study, over exposure to artificial light at night can be harmful for health posing risks for problems such as breast cancer, obesity, diabetes, depression and other health problems. The team of researchers on the study have concluded that artificial light at night causes health problems. So, it's important to understand the dangers of artificial night lights.


harmful artificial light at night

According to the study, prolonged and frequent exposure to brightly lid screens at night disrupts the natural rhythm of the body and increases risk of medical conditions associated with poor sleep. The increase in usage of portable devices with glowing screens to surf Internet, read books and check social media sites can impact user health.

In addition, artificial light makes it harder to fall asleep as it hinder the activity of neurons, which are responsible for sleep and suppressing melatonin, the sleep hormone. This disturbs the natural clock of the body that controls your sleep-wake cycle. This is the reason why people end up checking their email and watching TV in the middle of the light. Long-term sleep loss raises risk of diseases because sleep deprived people become hyperactive which is often mistaken for attention-deficit hyperactivity.


dangers of artificial night lights


The study

The study was conducted on 12 participants who read on an iPad for four hours before going to bed for five days straight. The same process was repeated with printed books. People who read on ipad took longer to fall sleep and felt less sleepy at night as compared with those who read printed books. iPad readers were found to be more tired than the book readers.


The researchers believe that dangers of artificial night lights may be even worse than what they observed during the study.


What you can do

Now that you know that use of artificial light at night causes health problems, it is best to avoid use of light emitting screens before bed. If you must use the computers or other light-emitting devices in the night make sure to use technology or software that filters out the blue light.

Image Source : Getty

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