University Heights, OH (PRWEB) July 17, 2012
The American Medical Association (AMA) at their annual meeting in Chicago last month warned that using light at night is bad for health (1). The damage is related to the disruption of the circadian (daily) rhythm and the loss of melatonin that occurs when the eyes are exposed to light during the evening and night. The human body can produce melatonin, the sleep inducing, cancer fighting hormone for 12 to 14 hours a night (2) if the person is in darkness. The average American is in darkness for only 6 – 8 hours a night so melatonin is greatly limited. This disruption of the natural circadian rhythm is believed to prevent sound sleep, increase the risk for heart disease, diabetes and breast and prostate cancer (3)
In 2001 studies in the UK (4) and the US (5) discovered new sensors in the eye that control the internal clock and the production of melatonin but do not contribute to vision. They found these sensors respond most strongly to the blue rays in ordinary white light. Scientists at John Carroll University in Cleveland, OH developed light bulbs that don’t produce the melatonin suppressing blue rays and eyeglasses that block these destructive rays. These products have been available since 2005 on the internet at http://www.lowbluelights.com that is owned by Photonic Developments LLC, a spin-off company. These products are sold with a guarantee that the money will be refunded if the customer does not sleep better.
What is new is the report from the recent meeting of the AMA that there is a problem (a big problem) with using light at night. It is not just interfering with sleep but is increasing the risk of deadly illnesses. Blind women have about half the rate of breast cancer as women with normal vision. If all women would avoid blue light at night and maximize their flow of melatonin (as blind women do) the incidence of breast cancer might be cut in half.
The AMA report suggested that red lights be used to avoid melatonin suppression. Kayumov (6) showed that avoiding light at wavelength less than 530nm restored melatonin flow. Such light appears amber (some call it orange). The amber colored light bulbs sold at http://www.lowbluelights.com block light below 530nw and provide much more useful light than comes from a red bulb. The only color missing in the amber bulbs is blue so that green, yellow and red are all available. Things look almost normal. There is no difficulty carrying on usual evening activities.
Thousands of people have purchased these products and less than 10% return them for failure to help them sleep better. Some people make little or no melatonin, even in complete darkness. LowBlueLights products will not help those people.
Now that the AMA has recognized the damage done by using light at night we anticipate more doctors will be suggesting our products for all their patients to get the many benefits of maximizing melatonin. These include not only better sleep and reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, breast and prostate cancer but an improved immune system to ward off common illnesses.
(1) Light at Night Bad for Health, Doctors Say.
By: Rachael Rettner, MyHealthNewsDaily Staff Writer 6/21/2012
(2) PLoS One. 2008 Aug 26;3(8):e3055.
Individual differences in the amount and timing of salivary melatonin secretion.
Burgess HJ, Fogg LF.
(3) AMA REPORT 4 OF THE COUNCIL ON SCIENCE AND PUBLIC HEALTH (A-12) 6/21/2012
Light Pollution: Adverse Health Effects of Nighttime Lighting
Authors: David Blask, PhD, MD (Tulane University School of Medicine); George Brainard, PhD (Jefferson Medical College); Ronald Gibbons, PhD (Virginia Tech); Steven Lockley, PhD (Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School); Richard Stevens, PhD (University Connecticut Health Center); and Mario Motta, MD (CSAPH, Tufts Medical School).
(4) J Physiol. 2001 Aug 15;535(Pt 1):261-7.
An action spectrum for melatonin suppression: evidence for a novel non-rod, non-cone photoreceptor system in humans.
Thapan K, Arendt J, Skene DJ.
(5) J Neurosci. 2001 Aug 15;21(16):6405-12.
Action spectrum for melatonin regulation in humans: evidence for a novel circadian photoreceptor.
Brainard GC, Hanifin JP, Greeson JM, Byrne B, Glickman G, Gerner E, Rollag MD.
(6) Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 May;90(5):2755-61. Epub 2005 Feb 15.
Blocking low-wavelength light prevents nocturnal melatonin suppression with no adverse effect on performance during simulated shift work.
Kayumov L, Casper RF, Hawa RJ, Perelman B, Chung SA, Sokalsky S, Shapiro CM.