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Author (up) Hasler, B.P.
Title Commentary on Bedroom Light Exposure at Night and the Incidence of Depressive Symptoms: A Longitudinal Study of the HEIJOKYO Cohort (Obayashi et al) Type Journal Article
Year 2018 Publication American Journal of Epidemiology Abbreviated Journal
Volume 187 Issue 3 Pages 435-438
Keywords Commentary; Human Health
Abstract In modern society, we are increasingly disconnected from natural light/dark cycles and beset by round-the-clock exposure to artificial light. Light has powerful effects on physical and mental health, in part via the circadian system, and thus the timing of light exposure dictates whether it is helpful or harmful. In their compelling paper, Obayashi and colleagues offer evidence that light at night can prospectively predict an elevated incidence of depressive symptoms in older adults. Strengths of the study include the longitudinal design and direct, objective assessment of light levels, as well as accounting for multiple plausible confounders during analyses. Follow-up studies should address the study's limitations, including reliance on a global self-report of sleep quality and a two-night assessment of light exposure that may not reliably represent typical light exposure. In addition, experimental studies including physiological circadian measures will be necessary to determine if the light effects on depression are mediated through the circadian system or are so-called “direct” effects of light. In any case, these exciting findings could inform novel new approaches to preventing depressive disorders in older adults.
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Publisher Place of Publication Editor
Language Summary Language Original Title
Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title
Series Volume Series Issue Edition
ISSN 0002-9262 ISBN Medium
Area Expedition Conference
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Call Number LoNNe @ kyba @ Serial 1716
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