Beware, Don’t Sleep With Your Lights On!

There are people who sleep with their lights on and there are people who sleep with their lights off. If you are one of those who prefer to sleep in a dark room, then good for you because you will have a good night sleep. But if you are one of those who prefer to sleep in a bright bedroom, then you have to read this.

According to some experts, sleeping in a bright room, or even not so bright like just a flash from a cellphone, can cause depression because of the confusion it gives in our body clock. Our body clock tells us when to sleep and when to wake up. Our rhythm can be disrupted by the presence of light in our bedroom which makes us think that it is not yet time to sleep.

In a research study conducted in Nara Medical University, it is confirmed that the presence of light can break the sleep-wake cycle of our body but they still unabled to explain its link to depression.

Dr. Kenji Obayashi of Nara Medical University is the leader of the researchers who recruited 863 senior citizens with an average age of 72 who did not have any stress, depression, or anxiety problems. This research study was conducted for almost two years.

The researchers put a light meter on every participant’s room wherein a majority number of 710 senior citizens prefer to sleep in a dark room. The rest of the participants prefer to sleep in a brighter room.

The researchers discovered that those who sleep in a room with five or more rays of light, have developed the risks of depression symptoms. This is not the first time this kind of research was conducted. In a 2009 issue of a journal published by Behavioral Brain Research, those rats who live in a 24-hour lighted room have developed depression symptoms.

It has been well known a long time ago that sleeping in a bright room can cause sleep deprivation based on a research paper published on a journal of Physiological Reports. It was reported that those who sleep in a bright room can reduce the production of melatonin, a sleep-promoting hormone.

However, there are mixed reports regarding the link of depression to sleep deprivation. In a research paper published in a journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, it has been discovered that those who have below eight hours sleeping time have developed symptoms of depression. In a similar study, researchers on University of Pennsylvania (2017) had the same discovery.

Dr. Obayashi, the latest researcher on this subject can not explain the direct link of depression to sleeping in a bright room but he said that it might be a psychological effect.


Source: Bulgar (April 15, 2018 issue)

Featured Image Source: pixabay



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