Depression is a serious issue that no one ever talks about. However, there has been a recent uprise about the issue where people have come out and talked about it openly. A new study about depression has cropped up that puts a new light on the mental health disorder that most people globally suffer from. As per a study which was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology saw a strong correlation between exposure to low-level nighttime light and symptoms of depression among elderly adults.
The study was conducted by a professor, named Kenji Obayashi, in the department of community health and epidemiology reports TIME. Obayashi, teaches at Nara Medical University School of Medicine in Japan. According to the research, the nighttime light levels of 863 elderly Japanese adults were measured in their bedrooms. The light was measured by ceiling-facing light meters placed in their bedrooms.
These light meters were placed at the headboards of everyone’s beds for two nights. This was done to capture the light they would see while going to sleep as accurately as possible. The elder people were asked to maintain sleep diaries. After closely monitoring their pattern the survey found out the development of symptoms of depression over two years.
As many as 73 people have developed symptoms of depression. The researchers also found out another aspect of the study that shows a correlation between that progression and exposure to nighttime light. People who participated in the study who were exposed to more than five lux of light were likely to develop depression symptoms. When compared to the people who slept in a completely dark room did not develop such symptoms. To give you a perspective, 10 lux is like looking at a candle from about a foot away.
It should be noted that light exposure at night may not be the only reason for the link with depression. The study by Obayashi was not designed to determine cause and effect. Even though it is not clear on how the intensity of light is connected to depression, researcher Obayashi says that there may be a relation to sleep disturbances.