- Exposure to dim lights when it should be dark may contribute to depression.
- Light exposure at the wrong times of day has been linked to all sorts of health problems.
- To boost your mood, it might help to give yourself some solid hours of true darkness at night.
Basking in the glow of your TV, smart phone or living room lights late into the night may put you at risk for depression, suggests a new study.
The research, which involved hamsters, adds to growing evidence in both animals and people that exposure to even dim lights at night can lead to all sorts of negative health consequences, including breast cancer, sleep disorders and weight gain.
"We've set up a link between exposure to light at night with depression in these animals," said Tracy Bedrosian, a doctoral student in neuroscience at The Ohio State University in Columbus. "If it does apply to humans, people might want to think about getting dark shades, not leaving the TV on all night long, and making sure to give themselves darkness when they go to sleep."