Artificial Light Exposure at Night Linked to Insomnia in Older Adults

Artificial Light Exposure at Night Linked to Insomnia in Older Adults

As one of the most common sleeping disorders, insomnia causes trouble falling and/or staying asleep. So, people who suffer from insomnia have a poor-quality sleep, get too little sleep, and wake up feeling even more tired than before going to bed.

Moreover, this sleep disorder can also make you anxious, irritable, sleepy, and depressed. In fact, it will impact your whole lifestyle and weaken your performance. It might sound like a benign condition, but in fact, insomnia can trigger drowsiness while driving, which is the leading cause of accidents.

Types of Insomnia

There are three kinds of insomnia, including transient, acute, and chronic. Transient insomnia lasts for less than a week and it is usually triggered by another disorder or the environment. On the other hand, acute insomnia or stress-related insomnia can last for a period of less than a month. Chronic insomnia lasts for longer than a month and it can either be caused by another disorder, or it can be a primary disorder.

Risk Factors

Women and older adults are more prone to developing insomnia. Likewise, other risk factors which increase the chances for insomnia include inactive lifestyle, long distance travel, lower incomes, stress, other medical conditions and sleep disorders, and depression.

Sign and Symptoms

The main symptom of insomnia is experiencing a difficulty, falling or staying asleep. Thus, people who deal with this sleep disorder usually sleep only for a short period, lie awake for much of the night, wake up too early, and don’t feel refreshed after waking up.

Additionally, the lack of sleep can make you sleepy and tired throughout the day. You might experience difficulty, focusing and concentrating. Moreover, this sleep disorder might cause even some more serious consequences. So, if you think that you might have insomnia, make sure you see a sleep specialist.

The Link Between Artificial Light Exposure at Night and Insomnia in Older Adults

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, artificial, outdoor light exposure at night is linked to insomnia in older adults. The study showed that when elderly people are being exposed to night-time levels of artificial, outdoor light, they are more likely to have an increased prevalence of hypnotic prescriptions and daily dose intake.

In fact, the artificial light might have a strong connection with sleep deprivation, as compared to people inside the house. The artificial light is a very strong environmental change which can disrupt the sleep of most individuals. This light is also known as "light pollution," and it definitely has a negative impact on human health. The light pollution doesn’t only disrupt your sleep, but also your circadian rhythms and triggers chronic and metabolic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, and depression.

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