An article in the Journal of European Association for the study of diabetes showed that exposure to outdoor artificial light in night time leads to insulin resistance, poor beta cells function and poor diabetes control.Dr.Yu Zu at Shanghai Institute of Endocrinology and Metabolic diseases reported that more than 9 million Chinese above the age of 18 years are suffering from diabetes due to exposure to artificial light.This number will increase with the increase in population and urbanization. In China people from eastern coastal cities have higher exposure to night light.The incidence of diabetes was 28% higher in people living high light exposure area than those living in low light exposure area.
In modern society, use of night light is common.About 83% population of world is exposed to light pollution and 99% population of Europe and America is exposed to night light polluted sky.It disturbs the circadian rhythm in mammals and causes metabolic dysregulation. Exposure to night light also increases systolic blood pressure, LDL level and average body mass index. Due to urbanization and economic growth the number of people exposed to night light has gone up dramatically in recent years.The artificial light is the way of lighting for all night eateries.The nurses working in night shift have higher risk of prediabetes, Diabetes and obesity.May it be the time to turn off all the light and it can save electricity. Also use low voltage lamps.
Sleeping with light linked to higher risk of diabetes, obesity:
The study finds that outdoor artificial light at night (LAN) is associated with impaired blood glucose control and an increased risk of diabetes, with more than 9 million cases of the disease in Chinese adults being attributed to LAN exposure.
Researchers have found that sleeping with even a tiny amount of light can impact one's health. The findings suggest light exposure during sleep is linked to a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure in older adults.
Night light causes diabetes:
How night-time light during sleep can lead to diabetes and obesity? Investigators found insulin resistance occurred the morning after people slept in a light room. Insulin resistance is when cells in your muscles, fat and liver don't respond well to insulin and can't use glucose from your blood for energy.
Protect yourself from blue light at night.Use dim red lights for night lights. Red light is less likely to shift circadian rhythm and suppress melatonin. Avoid looking at bright screens(T.V.screen or Mobile) beginning two to three hours before bed.
Exposure to light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that influences circadian rhythms. Even dim light can interfere with a person's circadian rhythm and melatonin secretion.
The natural cycle of physical, mental, and behavior changes that the body goes through in a 24-hour cycle. Circadian rhythms are mostly affected by light and darkness and are controlled by a small area in the middle of the brain.
There are many examples of circadian rhythms, such as the sleep-wake cycle, the body-temperature cycle, and the cycles in which a number of hormones are secreted. Infradian rhythms have a period of more than 24 hours. The menstrual cycle in women and the hibernation cycle in bears are two good examples.
In children, blue‐enriched LED lighting has a greater impact on melatonin suppression and it inhibits the increase in sleepiness during night. Light with a low color temperature is recommended at night, particularly for children's sleep and circadian rhythm.
Past studies have shown that light suppresses melatonin, such that light in the early evening causes a circadian delay, or resets the clock to a later schedule; and light in the early morning causes a circadian advancement, or resets the clock to an earlier schedule
Melatonin is a hormone that your brain produces in response to darkness. It helps with the timing of your circadian rhythms (24-hour internal clock) and with sleep. Being exposed to light at night can block melatonin production.
Melatonin is typically suppressed during the day and rises at night. Studies show artificial light at night can suppress melatonin levels, and scientists have found a link between the disruption of melatonin and several diseases, including cancer and diabetes.
Exposure to artificial light at night during sleep is common, either from indoor light emitting devices or from sources outside the home, particularly in large urban areas. A significant proportion of individuals (up to 40 percent) sleep with a bedside lamp on or with a light on in the bedroom, or keep a television on.
Light and its relationship to health is double edged.
“In addition to sleep, nutrition and exercise, light exposure during the daytime is an important factor for health, but during the night we show that even modest intensity of light can impair measures of heart and endocrine health,” Zee said.
Investigators found insulin resistance occurred the morning after people slept in a light room. Insulin resistance is when cells in your muscles, fat and liver don’t respond well to insulin and can’t use glucose from your blood for energy. To make up for it, your pancreas makes more insulin. Over time, your blood sugar goes up.
“It’s important for people to avoid or minimize the amount of light exposure during sleep,” said Dr. Phyllis Zee, chief of sleep medicine at Feinberg and a Northwestern Medicine physician.
Zee and colleagues are considering an intervention study to test whether a restoration of the natural light-dark cycle improves health outcomes such as cognition.
Zee’s top tips for reducing light during sleep:
(i) Don’t turn lights on. If you need to have a light on (which older adults may want for safety), make it a dim light that is closer to the floor.
(ii) Colour is important. Amber or a red or orange light is less stimulating for the brain. Don’t use white or blue light and keep it far away from the sleeping person.
(iii) Blackout shades or eye masks are good if you can’t control the outdoor light. Move your bed so the outdoor light isn’t shining on your face.
Information compiled by:
Dr. Bhairavsinh Raol