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Online Column: Tips for lowering AL exposure

by Janine Wesley
| November 18, 2009 11:00 PM

Artificial lighting has been scientifically proven to be hazardous to our health. These problems include breast and prostate cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and headaches just to name a few.

The following tips are things we can do to eliminate or lessen the hazardous effects of AL;

• Sleep in as much total darkness as possible. This stimulates serotonin production and is vital in producing melatonin.

• Sleep nine hours each night. According to a Finnish study, “Women are one third as likely to get breast cancer than those who slept seven to eight hours.”

• Use a red light bulb if you get up at night. The red light wavelength has lower intensity and even a brief exposure to AL will disrupt the production of melatonin.

• Go outside at the same time each day for at least 10-15 minutes. This sends a time signal to our brains that says, “This is day time” so our circadian rhythm will not get disturbed.

• Do not sit in a dimly lit room during the day as this also “confuses” the brain’s concept of day and night.

• Do not use bright lights for hobbies, etc. within three hours of bedtime.

• No more than 15 minutes on the computer at night.

 Hopefully with these tips in mind we can combat this toxin that has silently slipped into our modern lifestyles.

For a previous column on the health hazards of artificial lighting, click on

(Janine Wesley is a member of a small group from Libby concerned about light pollution and its negative impact on the community at large and the environment.)