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Artificial Light and Human Health



Kirjoittanut: Helena Tahlo - tiimistä Kipinä.

Esseen tyyppi: Blogiessee / 1 esseepistettä.
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 2 minuuttia.

Artificial Light and Human Health 

 

Introduction 

The International Year of Light in 2015 brought attention to the profound influence of light on various aspects of our lives. A lab utilized fruit flies to study sleep and wake patterns and addressed the significant impact of light on human health. (Rogulja 2015) 

 

Human Body 

The fundamental aspect of life on Earth is the daily exposure to light-dark cycles due to the planet’s rotation and orbit around the Sun. The drastic increase in artificial light, as depicted by nighttime images of Earth, raises questions about its implications for both our connection to the natural environment and our health. (Rogulja 2015) 

 

 

Light Pollution and Its Effects 

 

The blackout in 2003, revealed the stunning visibility of the Milky Way when artificial lights were temporarily absent. The detrimental impact of excessive artificial light on our view of the night sky serves as a metaphor for the potential harm it may cause to our health. Flooding ourselves with light pollution might have adverse consequences, prompting a deeper examination of its effects. (Rogulja 2015) 

 

As humans we have so-called biological clocks, they are present in all our organs and play a crucial role in maintaining synchronization with light-dark cycles. The master clock is in the brain that rhythms, ensuring harmony among various bodily functions. And light is the primary regulator of these biological clocks, shaping our sleep-wake patterns and influencing hormone production. (Rogulja 2015) 

 

Nowadays we have blue light, a component of sunlight that profoundly impacts our circadian rhythms. While exposure to blue light during the day enhances mood, attention, and alertness, the misuse of technology at night disrupts our natural sleep-wake cycles. (Rogulja 2015) If you still tend to use technology during nighttime, using blue light filters you can reduce the adverse effects. 

 

 

Fruit Flies 

Fruit flies are a valuable model organism for studying sleep biology and light’s influence on health. Drawing parallels between humans and fruit flies, we can find shared genetic regulation of sleep patterns allows for insights into the effects of light exposure.  

 

 

Conclusion 

By urging yourself to consider the evolutionary history of humanity and the natural synchronization with light-dark cycles. As modern lifestyles increasingly deviate from this natural rhythm, there is a need for awareness and moderation in light exposure.  

 

 

Sources: 

 

Rogulja, D. 2015. How artificial light affects our health. Ted Talk. Watched 4.12.2023 

https://www.ted.com/talks/dragana_rogulja_how_artificial_light_affects_our_health/transcript

 

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