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Author Bennett, S.; Alpert, M.; Kubulins, V.; Hansler, R.L.
Title Use of modified spectacles and light bulbs to block blue light at night may prevent postpartum depression Type Journal Article
Year 2009 Publication Medical Hypotheses Abbreviated Journal Med Hypotheses
Volume 73 Issue 2 Pages 251-253
Keywords Depression, Postpartum/*prevention & control; *Eyeglasses; Female; Humans; *Lighting; blue light; light therapy; blue blocker
Abstract In 2001 it was discovered that exposing the eyes to light in the blue end of the visible spectrum suppresses the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin. New mothers need to get up during the night to care for their babies. This is the time when melatonin is normally flowing. Exposing their eyes to light can cut off the flow. It may also reset their circadian (internal) clock. On subsequent nights the melatonin may not begin flowing at the normal time making it difficult to fall asleep. Over time, disruption of the circadian rhythm plus sleep deprivation may result in depression. Women suffering postpartum depression were enrolled in a small clinical trial. Some were provided with glasses and light bulbs that block blue light. Others were equipped with glasses and light bulbs that looked colored but did not block the rays causing melatonin suppression. Those with the “real glasses” recovered somewhat more quickly than those with the placebo glasses and light bulbs. The hypothesis that should be tested in large scale clinical trials is that the risk of postpartum depression can be reduced when a new mother avoids exposing her eyes to blue light when she gets up at night to care for her baby. In the meantime, all new mothers may benefit from using glasses and light bulbs that block blue light when getting up at night to care for their babies.
Address Postpartum Support, International P.O. Box 60931, Santa Barbara, CA 93160, USA
Corporate Author Thesis
Publisher Place of Publication Editor
Language English Summary Language Original Title
Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title (up)
Series Volume Series Issue Edition
ISSN 0306-9877 ISBN Medium
Area Expedition Conference
Notes PMID:19329259 Approved no
Call Number IDA @ john @ Serial 296
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