It is gross delusion majority humans exhibit. Whatever is visible, is only considered as pollution. For example, air pollution – you notice only when there is black smog suffocating you. Noise pollution – you notice only when your sleep is hampered by the neighborhood DJ party. We hardly pay attention to silent pollution. Light pollution.
Our body is designed to remain sync with cycle of Sun and Moon. But we now hardly give any respect to bodily rhythms.
Necessity is mother of invention. Post-industrialization, mankind has disturbed human body’s circadian rhythms (A daily cycle of activity observed in many living organisms which depends on Sunrise and Sunset) severely by including post-sunset activities under artificial lights. There is 24×7 work culture now. Effects are inevitable. You see many among us with memory loss in young age. So it became necessity to invent memory supporting tools (From To Do list to modern smartphones)
Result? Slow but gradual degradation human mind’s strength like memory.
Imagine a time of last century when we started using artificial light. Amount of stress entire human race went through. I suspect, some of the historical endemic events were due to industrial leap events. Altering circadian rhythms by flood lights is one of them.
For modern urban resident, there is wealth arrogance. I pay my utility bills so I will keep them on, as long as I want!
Who is worse affected?
Our toddlers. Their rhythms. Their growth.
Artificial night lighting is expanding globally, but its ecological consequences remain little understood. Animals often use changes in day length as a cue to time seasonal behavior. Artificial night lighting may influence the perception of day length, and may thus affect both circadian and circadian rhythms.
Keep low light post sunset. For you, your kids and the birds in neighborhood. Respect natural bodily rhythms. Once in a month, spend a day or two in dark. No lights or very very low lights. Experience and embrace the darkness of the night.
1) Keep low light at home after sunset
2) Avoid artificial lights at work (I know this is difficult but critical 🙁 )
3) At least spend time in nature during sunrise and sunset
4) Make sure your kids sleep early (so that they avoid artificial lights for long)
5) If you really need light post sunset, keep it minimal. Best if you can keep desi ghee lamps or light of that intensity. ZERO light during sleep!
Have a look at few research papers related to light pollution.
Is artificial lighting making us sick? New evidence in mice
Environmental 24-hr Cycles Are Essential for Health
Along with eating right and exercising, people should consider adding another healthy habit to their list: turning out the lights. That’s according to a new study reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on July 14 showing many negative health consequences for mice kept under conditions of constant light for a period of months.
“Our study shows that the environmental light-dark cycle is important for health,” says Johanna Meijer of Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands. “We showed that the absence of environmental rhythms leads to severe disruption of a wide variety of health parameters.”
Those parameters included pro-inflammatory activation of the immune system, muscle loss, and early signs of osteoporosis. The researchers say that the observed physiological changes were all indicative of “frailty” as is typically seen in people or animals as they age. But there was some more encouraging news, too.
“We used to think of light and darkness as harmless or neutral stimuli with respect to health,” Meijer says. “We now realize this is not the case based on accumulating studies from laboratories all over the world, all pointing in the same direction. Possibly this is not surprising as life evolved under the constant pressure of the light-dark cycle. We seem to be optimized to live under these cycles, and the other side of the coin is that we are now affected by a lack of such cycles.”
Light pollution alters the phenology of dawn and dusk singing in common European songbirds
Artificial night lighting is expanding globally, but its ecological consequences remain little understood. Animals often use changes in day length as a cue to time seasonal behaviour. Artificial night lighting may influence the perception of day length, and may thus affect both circadian and circannual rhythms. Over a 3.5 month period, from winter to breeding, we recorded daily singing activity of six common songbird species in 12 woodland sites, half of which were affected by street lighting. We previously reported on analyses suggesting that artificial night lighting affects the daily timing of singing in five species. The main aim of this study was to investigate whether the presence of artificial night lighting is also associated with the seasonal occurrence of dawn and dusk singing. We found that in four species dawn and dusk singing developed earlier in the year at sites exposed to light pollution. We also examined the effects of weather conditions and found that rain and low temperatures negatively affected the occurrence of dawn and dusk singing. Our results support the hypothesis that artificial night lighting alters natural seasonal rhythms, independently of other effects of urbanization. The fitness consequences of the observed changes in seasonal timing of behaviour remain unknown.