Teenagers and Light at Night (07-17-20)

Research lead by Paksarian and Merikangas, and published in JAMA Psychiatry, confirms that nighttime light can have undesirable consequences.  Investigators determined that “adolescents [13-18 years olds] who live in areas that have high levels of artificial light at night tend to get less sleep and are more likely to have a mood disorder relative to teens who live in areas with low levels of night-time light. . . . Daily rhythms, including the circadian rhythms that drive our sleep-wake cycles, are thought to be important factors that contribute to physical and mental health. The presence of artificial light at night can disrupt these rhythms, altering the light-dark cycle that influences hormonal, cellular, and other biological processes. Researchers have investigated associations among indoor artificial light, daily rhythms, and mental health, but the impact of outdoor artificial light has received relatively little attention, especially in teens.”

“Outdoor Light Linked with Teens’ Sleep and Mental Health.”  2020.  Press release, National Institute of Mental Health, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/news/science-news/2020/outdoor-light-linked-wit...