Like many you probably look at your phone or tablet just before going to sleep or first thing when you wake up. Light, it seems, is constantly around us. There are lights on almost every device in your house and even on the clock that you might still keep at your bedside. Researchers are now saying that this constant barrage of light could be affecting your health.
Light-Dark Cycles are important for our health as our body’s exposure to light lets the body know to do different functions. Confusing the body with constant streams of light means that when you sleep your body can still think that it’s awake. Neuroscientist Johanna Meijer from Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands told Science Alert “Our study shows that the environmental light-dark cycle is important for health”. Johanna continues “We showed that the absence of environmental rhythms leads to severe disruption of a wide variety of health parameters.”
The study conducting on mice showed that mice that had constant light shown on them, even light as small as from the standby light on the TV, showed a reducing in muscle and bone mass after a 24-week period. The results of this study seem to indicate that overexposure to light speeds up the ageing process significantly.
If it all sounds like doom and gloom, before you get rid of every light emitting device in your house, the damage isn’t permanent. “The good news is that we subsequently showed that these negative effects on health are reversible when the environmental light-dark cycle is restored,” Johanna said.
Researchers suggest that in all light emitting devices should be removed or completely shut off in the bedroom. If you get light spill from the street in your windows that some thicker blackout curtains should be purchased to ensure that you are getting the best of your night time cycle.