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Your bedroom lights

02-10-2012

Most people intuitively know that it is important to sleep in the dark, our bodies tell us by responding to darkened environments and waking up in lighter surrounds but recent research has shown how incredibly vital it is to sleep in the dark.

The problem is that as we have more and more devices in our lives, alarm clocks, cell phones, TVs in our bedrooms and all the other electronic paraphernalia of the modern world, we are increasingly surrounded by more and more little glowing and blinking lights. While these lights may seem like a pretty trivial break in the darkness of your room, a team at Ohio State University have found that they actually have a distinct influence on us, or at least hamsters.

They placed hamsters in different light environments for 8 weeks and found that those sleeping with LED lights around them were far more depressed, eating less, playing less and generally seeming in less good health. The reason for this is that the hamsters actually suffered damage to their brains because of the lights, with hair like spines in their hippocampus becoming less dense over the time period. These spines help transmit melatonin through their brain and after only 8 weeks they had been damaged.

The message, turn off all lights in your room.


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