New studies have shown that electrical lighting suppresses hormones necessary for sleep and regulation of blood pressure.
Due to hectic schedules and the desire to stay up late-night, many people leave lights on late into the night. These findings show that leaving lights on during night hours, especially during normal sleeping time, significantly decreases melatonin and may negatively affect the ability to sleep or get quality sleep.
Some researchers also believe turning off the lights during late night hours can help reduce the chances of cancer as well.
For this study, 116 healthy individuals between the ages of 18 and 30 years old were analyzed for a five day period. They were exposed to lights ranging from dim to an entire room during the eight hours before bed.
Using intravenous catheters, scientists evaluated each person’s melatonin levels in 30 minute intervals. The findings showed that lights decrease melatonin levels in about 90 minutes.
Researchers believe that turning the lights down at night and off while sleeping could reduce insomnia, help maintain a healthy blood pressure, and even decrease the risks of diabetes.