July 12, 2022
A story about the harmful health effects of nighttime light on senior citizens arrived in my feed today, a day after seeing my cardiologist for my post-heart attack visit. I thought I’d share it because of its significant implications for townspeople who suffer from external light trespass shining through windows and eyelids during the night.
In June of this year, researchers Minjee Kim, M.D. of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and her team published a study of 552 older adults after recording their seven-day activity and light exposure measurements. The results should concern anyone exposed to light pollution today.
Researchers divided the seniors into those who experienced at least 5 hours of complete darkness and those who did not. Those who did not, the “Light at Night,” group, were found to have more obesity, diabetes, and hypertension but not high cholesterol. “Light at Night” folks followed fewer routines during the daytime, were less active, turned lights off later, and woke up more often during the night.
I can only imagine how this research affects the people in our increasingly bright towns. – Peggy Day
Source: Sleep, zsac130, https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsac130