October 1, 2022

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Is our biological cycle threatened by artificial lights? science responds

Humans and primates of past ages were well aware of how important it was to build their activities around the Earth’s cycle of day and night, and their habits have been passed down to us. However, artificial lights can be increased Negatively affect the ‘circadian rhythm’.

Man manages his sleep and rest time based on the hours of light and dark at his disposal, but how do all of these affect the body? Artificial light sources that we are constantly exposed to? Neon lights, smartphone screens, flashes, and more can profoundly alter our daily cycle, and over the next millennia of evolution, it’s not clear what we’re going to face.

Represents the circadian rhythm (or cycle) Our biological clock, which (in short) warns us when it is time to get up and when we start to feel sleepy. Everything is regulated by the hypothalamus in the brain, using a well-known motor substance called melatonin (Which in turn is derived from the neurotransmitter serotonin, known as the good mood hormone.)

Melatonin cycle – also called sleep hormone It is incredibly sensitive to the presence of light, and its focus changes very quickly between the hours of darkness (when it is at its peak) to the hours of daylight (when it is minimal).

According to the professor John AxelsonSleep research expert at Karolinska Institutet.Our main body clock has an intrinsic rhythm of approximately 24 hours and is very sensitive to light at dusk and dawn, in order to fine-tune the circadian system; The system must be dynamic and adapt to seasonal changes in the length of the day and night. But we still don’t know how much and how the lights we go through every day can affect“.

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Among the topics most discussed by scholars isMisuse of smartphones and digital readersAccording to experts, the blue / white light of screens negatively affects the achievement of a good sleep state, and several experiments have confirmed that those who read a paper book sleep at least 10 minutes earlier than those who are resting looking at the mobile phone screen or reading in the form of an e-book.

Also for this reason, in our devices there are several options for reducing the brightness and the blue reflection of light: night modes, a screen protector that “yellows” the screen to make reading more comfortable, etc.

However, researchers are well aware that sleep is governed by multiple factors, and that It is not easy to tell how much one cause influences more than the other (Tricks can also be played with stress, anxiety, excitement, and other unpredictable elements.) Moreover, this is not the first time that science has taken the field to highlight the relationship between insomnia and smartphone use.

The question remains what will happen to future humans, who are likely to lead increasingly hectic lives with melatonin levels much lower than ours.