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Light pollution may cause insomnia in older adults

Press Trust of India  |  Seoul 

Exposure to nighttime artificial, outdoor light may increase risk in older adults, scientists say.

The study is the first population-based investigation to show that artificial, outdoor light exposure at night in an area increased prevalence of hypnotic prescriptions and daily dose intake.

Furthermore, older adults exposed to higher levels of artificial, outdoor light at night were more likely to use hypnotic drugs for longer periods or higher daily dosages.

"This study observed a significant association between the intensity of outdoor, artificial, nighttime lighting and the prevalence of as indicated by hypnotic agent prescriptions for older adults in South Korea," said Kyoung-bok Min, an at in

"Our results are supportive data that outdoor, artificial, nighttime light could be linked to among those while inside the house," said

can involve struggling to fall asleep, having trouble maintaining sleep, or waking up too early. A variety of environmental factors, including excessive noise or light and extreme temperatures, will disrupt the sleep of most individuals.

Researchers showed that the inappropriate or excessive use of artificial, outdoor light at night, referred to as "light pollution," has emerged as a novel environmental factor linked to human health.

Artificial nighttime lighting, whether indoor or outdoor, induces disruption of circadian rhythms, potentially leading to metabolic and chronic diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and

The study used data from 52,027 adults who were 60 years of age or older. About 60 per cent of participants were female.

Light exposure was based on The estimated light pollution level in each administrative district was matched with individuals' residential districts to determine an individual exposure level.

Usage data for two hypnotic drugs, zolpidem and triazolam, were extracted from About 22 per cent of study participants had prescriptions for hypnotic drugs.

added that public health officials seem to be less concerned with light pollution than with other environmental pollutants. However, this study strengthens the potential link between light pollution and adverse health consequences.

"Given the recent scientific evidence including our results, bright outdoor lighting may be a novel risk factor for prescribing hypnotic drugs," said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, December 02 2018. 16:15 IST