Why unplugging at night is important if you want to avoid depression

When I read that the lastest study suggests too much light at night may lead to depression, I got a bit scared. Not because I'm glued to the TV set at night, but because I am glued to my laptop screen. You see, although I spend most of my day in front of a computer screen writing posts like this one, once I put the kids to sleep, on most nights, I go to bed myself, but with my laptop so I can work on my blog. While I don't do this every night, after reading about this study I'm thinking I've got to make some serious changes. 

The study, conducted on hamsters by Ohio State University Medical Center, concluded that exposure to dim lighting at night--the kind generated by a TV or computer screen--may lead to depressive symptoms. 


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Interestingly enough, according to the study's researchers, while exposure to artificial lighting at night has increased dramatically over the past 50 years, so has depression prevalence. 

The good news is that if, like me, you stay up late in front of your computer (or your TV set), researchers say that you "may be able to undo some of the harmful effects just by going back to a regular light-dark cycle." In other words, just start minimizing your exposure to artificial light at night and you'll start feeling much better. Or, at least, that's what happened with the hamsters!

I, for one, plan on doing this from now on. Not only because I'm worried about the depression possibility, but also because for a while now, I've been feeling like a total loser choosing to spend so much time in front of the computer. I constantly tell myself it's my job, but I just have to organize myself better and I know I'll be able to reduce my screen time, particularly at night. 

What about you? Will this study make you change your ways? Share your thoughts with us by leaving us a comment below. 

Image via xJason.Rogersx/flickr

Topics: depression  mental health  womens health