The Household Appliance That Is Making You Depressed

the-household-appliance-that-is-making-you-depressed_300Modern humans spend a lot of time with electronic devices. Cellphones, laptop computers, etc. keep us engaged in evening mental activities until it’s time to turn off consciousness and get to sleep. But one modern device in particular may be making you depressed if you overindulge after dinner.

Evening illumination from powerful light bulbs can wreak havoc on your emotions. The solution: Keep your house dimmer in the hours before bed.

“Basically, what we found is that chronic exposure to bright light — even the kind of light you experience in your own living room at home or in the workplace at night if you are a shift worker — elevates levels of a certain stress hormone in the body, which results in depression and lowers cognitive function,” says researcher Samer Hattar, a biology professor in the Johns Hopkins University’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.

Late night illumination can disrupt the function of cortisol, a hormone related to stress.

Hattar warns that his study on the effects of light during the evening shows that that humans should be wary of the kind of prolonged, regular exposure to bright light at night that is routine in our lives. It may be having a negative effect on our mood and ability to learn.

“I’m not saying we have to sit in complete darkness at night, but I do recommend that we should switch on fewer lamps, and stick to less-intense light bulbs: Basically, only use what you need to see. That won’t likely be enough to activate those (cells in the eye)… that affect mood,” he advises.

Carl Lowe

By Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.