Bedtime Lighting May Cause Diabetes


Deadly Combination of Depression and Diabetes

Exposure to bright artificial light between dusk and bedtime can reduce the quality of your sleep and increase the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure.

A new study by researchers of Harvard Medical School has found that exposure to bright room light before sleep shortened the duration of melatonin production by about 90 minutes.  Room light during sleep hours strongly suppressed melatonin by more than 50 percent.  Melatonin, a physiology-regulating hormone made at night in the brain is known to regulate the sleep-wake cycle, blood pressure, and body temperature.

The research monitored blood plasma melatonin every 30~60 minutes in 116 healthy participants aged 18 to 30 who were exposed to bright or dim light for eight hours before bedtime.  The study is scheduled for publication in the March issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

“Given that chronic light suppression of melatonin has been hypothesized to increase relative risk for some types of cancer and that melatonin receptor genes have been linked to type 2 diabetes, our findings could have important health implications for shift workers who are exposed to indoor light at night over the course of many years,” said the lead author Dr. Joshua Gooley, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.


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