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Night Light Cause Depression and Weight Gain

Sleeping in a room with even a dim light turned on can affect the chemistry and structure of the brain. American neuroscientists have found that this could cause depression. If you turn the night into a day this is a risk factor for obesity.

Do you think that you should use a night light in your baby’s room? Have you spent a night in a lighted up place? It is good to know that this can have harmful effects on health. The latest research of neuroscientists at Ohio State University shows that sleeping in a room with light turned on could cause depression. If you turn the night into a day this is a risk factor for obesity.

You may feel that your little baby sleeps better with a night light on. There is no harm in using it. This is still the normal advice of the pediatricians. But the team at Ohio State University has discovered that spending the night with artificial light could provoke depression.

The researchers conducted tests on two groups of Siberian hamsters. One of them spent the nights in full darkness and without changes in the rodents’ behavior.  The second group was exposed to a dim light at night and soon the hamsters began to show signs of depression. For instance they weren’t drinking much sugar water which they normally like. Eight weeks later examinations of the hamsters’ brains confirmed these observations. Scientists found changes in the hippocampus – a part of the brain linked to depressive disorders.

Scientific researches have shown that persistent exposure to light at night leads to other changes in the human body. It affects the secretion of melatonin. This hormone helps the body to know when it is night time.

Believe it or not but if you stay in front of the computer or watch television too long at night you can put on weight. You often eat food in this period when the metabolism is slower. It is considered a “wrong” time to eat because even without taking more calories you gain weight. This could be a step away from obesity.

The scientists are certain that the use of artificial light at night in our modern life could be very harmful. There is evidence for instance that shift workers are more prone to diabetes and heart disease. More and more places, including hospital wards, stay brightly illuminated all night. Too many people suffer a disruption of the natural light-dark cycle with consequences for their health.

While the experts try to draw the public attention on those risks you can make some steps. Try to go to bed earlier and make sure to sleep in a completely dark room.

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