Sleep Apnea and Dim Light linked to Depression
Jul 19, 2013
According to research conducted at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Obstructive Sleep Apnea patients undergoing Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy should strive to make their sleeping quarters as dark as possible. In a study conducted on mice where researchers subjected mice to conditions similar to that of Sleep Apnea, the presence of dim light in the room led to anxiety and higher levels of depression.
Dr. Ulysses Magalang, the director of Ohio State University’s Sleep Disorders Center, asserted that while there is still inconclusive evidence that Sleep Apnea and depression are linked, research illustrates that even dim light could lead to higher levels of depression due to interruptions in sleep. The test mice were subjected to environments where oxygen was repeatedly lowered and the lighting was manipulated. The group exposed to dim light during normal sleep times experienced higher levels of anxiety and expressed more depressive behaviors than the control group contained in the dark environment.
Simple tips include:
- Use light blocking drapes or window shades to limit outside light from entering the room.
- Turn off the any device with an LED screen, such as laptops, televisions, cell phone screens, etc.
- Use clocks with red lights instead of green or blue, due to the fact that they do not emit the same wavelengths that trigger wakefulness in the human brain.
After encouraging results from the study with mice, researchers are continuing their research on human subjects, hoping to increase the quality of life and comfort for CPAP users.
Originally published by the American Journal of Physiology