According to one Japanese study, the amount of light present in your room as your sleep can bring on depression, with even the light of your phone deemed too much.
Be it the flickering pulse of the television, the cutting radiant nightlight, or the unfurling drama of that series on your phone that continues while your consciousness didn’t, all leave you subject to a greater risk of depression. According to the bedtime rule promoted by the American Journal of Epidemiology, if there’s light, you’re not alright.
The study looked to measure sleep health, shining a light on whether the amount of light in your sleeping quarters factored into the equation. Turns out, it sure does boyo. Even when other factors were present — like whether the test subjects smoked, ate poorly, etc — this increase in light in the bedroom accounted for a big jump in depression. 900 elderly Japanese were studied over 24 months, and it was found that those with over 5 lux had a higher chance of developing depression by 60-65%.
A wha? Well, a ‘lux’ is roughly the amount of light emitted from a candle from a meter away. Consider this. A bedroom at night with the lights on is roughly 50, while being outside in bright sunlight is anywhere from 10,000 to 25,000.
The study presents a correlation between circadian rhythms, light exposure and depression. With the use of phones, tablets, and computers in the bedroom well into the night hours now the collective norm, this appears to lead to a higher risk of developing depression. Which is depressing.
Distrupted circadian rhythms (despite it sounding like an uber-trendy EP you just don’t get), is no joke. Despite the proven health issues that come as a result of it, sleep deprivation has long been an effective form of institutionalised torture, usually performed in a room of excessive light.
So, lights off, you.