Exposure To Artificial Light Might Influence Diabetes Risk

It's hard to imagine a world without artificial light, but in reality, we have only been living with it for about 100 years, according to Psychology Today. While being able to turn on a light bulb is a good thing, too much artificial light can impact your health in a negative way. This is due to a disruption in circadian rhythms, which can impact many aspects of your health.

While we might not give circadian rhythms much thought, they are critical to how our bodies and brains function. The National Institutes of Health explains that circadian rhythms impact hormones, such as melatonin, that are released due to sunlight exposure and darkness. These hormones influence many biological activities such as blood pressure, inflammation, body temperature, and even mood. Research also shows that too much exposure to artificial light might be linked to health conditions, including obesity, metabolic disorders, and aging, according to Psychology Today.

Artificial light at night disrupts glucose levels

A 2022 study published in the journal Diabetologia aimed to assess the effects of artificial light on insulin-resistant individuals. They concluded that high exposure to artificial light during the evening had adverse impacts on their metabolic health, particularly when participants were exposed to screens. 

On the flip side, the study found that participants who spent the day in bright light had lower glucose levels before dinner and higher metabolic rates at night. Furthermore, people exposed to bright daylight and dim light in the evenings experienced higher melatonin levels at night, resulting in better sleep. 

The findings suggested that the "the timing of light exposure can influence the body's handling of glucose and fats, energy use and expenditure, and even temperature regulation in insulin-resistant individuals" (via Medical News Today). While further research on how light exposure affects the body is needed, the study showed that controlling light exposure in your home can help improve metabolic health and thus reduce your risk of insulin resistance.