Illuminated nights weaken your health, damage your brain and potentially weaken the immune systems of your unborn children. Improve your health by learning how to reduce light pollution.
Light Pollution and Circadian Disruptions: A Family Affair!
A new study at The Ohio State University (USA) found that hamster pups born to parents who didn’t receive a natural mix of daylight and darkness prior to mating, and not afterwards (!) had weakened immune systems and damaged endocrine system. This and more damage was traceable to both parents. Researchers call this epigenetic changes, or genetic modifications passed on to the next generation.
Because a healthy sleep-waking rhythm is just as important for humans as it is for hamsters, the scientists hope to create more awareness for dark and quiet nights.
Light Pollution and Bone/ Muscle Damage: Ageing Fast
In a 2016 study, researchers at the Leiden University Medical Centre (the Netherlands) proved that rats exposed to artificial light showed signs of a weakened immune system, developed an early-stage osteoporosis, inflammations, higher blood glucose levels, and had atrophied muscles.
While the effect has proven to be potentially reversible, scientists want our society to rethink the dangers of exposure to blue light emitted by the screens of our phones and TVs.
The Dark Side of Light – Light Pollution
But let’s look at humans now.
An observational 2016 study explored the link between outdoor night-time light and the possible disruption of circadian rhythms in adults. The study found that people exposed to outdoor light were most likely to sleep less than 6 h per night, making our crowded cities that prise themselves to “never sleep” more toxic than most of us thought. We know that chronic sleep deficit can promote Alzheimer’s (as shown in a report published in Nature Neuroscience). This effect is linked to human brains’ own “maintainance system” set up to flush out cellular waste during sleep and only during sleep. This is why severe lack of sleep damages – and destroys – neuron connections: our so-called Glymphatic System responsible for the nightly cleaning is out of whack.
Obviously, in our age of distractions, going to bed early triggers a certain fear of missing out, but what’s the point in a memorable party that you won’t be able to remember? Surrender to darkness, my friend…
Light Pollution and Electronics: The Screen is the Siren
We know that the use of e-book readers immediately before bedtime promotes sleep deficiency and disrupts our biological clock – with known damaging effects on our health (source). We know that the exposure to artificial light during night-time is linked to diabetes, heart disease, several cancers and obesity.
We know that the so-called “blue light” has an alerting effect that significantly suppresses melatonin production (this is the possible link to cancer, scientists say) and messes with the circadian rhythms. Why are we glued to our screens until we fall asleep?
How to Reduce Light Pollution to Improve Your Health – and Mental Performance
Brief but powerful, the following list is brought to you by neuroscience (and the BEAUTYCALYPSE love for all things dark and mysterious):
⭐️Figure out your bedtime and switch off your screens three hours before that time.
💡To all Apple fan girls and boys, use the fantastic power of nightshift mode!
⭐️If you’ve got to have night lights, choose red lights. Not only does it look super cool – totally like a vampire lair or something straight out of a True Blood episode – but red light is also the weakest light in terms of melatonin suppression.
💡In la casa BEAUTYCALYPSE, we use a pre-programmed Philips HUE that dims the lights to a sultry red right when it’s time to hit the hay.
⭐️Have to work late hours?