Science

Sleep Problems And Cancer May Be Lessened By Turning Lights Off

By Duna Bil , Jan 22, 2017 10:40 PM EST
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Experts have recently warned the public about the dangers of artificial light which mainly include sleep problems and even cancer. When we get exposed to bright light, especially bright blue light, at night, it can disturb sleeping patterns and might even cause weight gain, increase cancer susceptibility and other health issues, some studies suggest. The simple solution is to decrease exposure by turning the lights off when it's time for bed, and also turning off all devices that emit harmful light.

Insomnia, the inability to easily fall asleep, is linked to numerous health-related problems including the development of cancer. The World Health Organization says that nighttime shift work is associated with higher breast cancer  rates. Prolonged nighttime light exposure and suppression of melatonin, a sleep hormone which has anti-cancer effects, could be at least partly to blame, the group says.

A study suggests that sleeping problems influence an important protein in our body that is linked to cancer.This protein, known as cryptochromes, sense light to repair damage. Our daily biological rhythms, referred to as “circadian” clocks, are linked to how they grow, the Express says.

The link between proteins linked with sleep problems and cancer has never been established before. Those with irregular sleep will be anxious to take steps to avoid developing the disease. “Light is a stimulus that can have impacts on health, well-being and performance,” George Brainard, professor of neurology at Thomas Jefferson University says of the good and ill effects of light.

According to the USA Today , bright natural daylight is loaded with blue wavelengths that causes alertness and suppresses melatonin, a sleep hormone. “No one is saying we should turn off all the lights,” says Mario Motta, a cardiologist who works to bring attention to nighttime light exposure. He stresses that it is time to take some steps to reduce possible harms by working on our sleeping problems.

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