East Bay Edition

Light Pollution Disturbs Sleep

Outdoor Brightness Contributes to Insomnia

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Being exposed to high levels of artificial outdoor light at night contributes to insomnia and greater use of sleeping pills, reports a new study from South Korea’s Seoul National University College of Medicine. The researchers studied the records of 52,027 people without diagnosed sleep disorders—60 percent of them women—and correlated their sleeping pill use with their residential location relative to artificial outdoor light intensity. The brighter the outdoor lighting, the more likely were sleep issues and the greater and more frequent use of sleeping pills. The study joins other research that has shown that artificial nighttime lighting—outdoors and indoors—disrupts circadian rhythms, potentially leading to such metabolic and chronic diseases and conditions as cancer, diabetes, obesity and depression.


This article appears in the March 2019 issue of Natural Awakenings.

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