Perspective: Casting light on sleep deficiency.

Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Division of Sleep Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, in Boston, Massachusetts.
Nature (Impact Factor: 42.35). 05/2013; 497(7450):S13. DOI: 10.1038/497S13a
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The use of electric lights at night is disrupting the sleep of more and
more people, says Charles Czeisler.

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    ABSTRACT: In the past 50 y, there has been a decline in average sleep duration and quality, with adverse consequences on general health. A representative survey of 1,508 American adults recently revealed that 90% of Americans used some type of electronics at least a few nights per week within 1 h before bedtime. Mounting evidence from countries around the world shows the negative impact of such technology use on sleep. This negative impact on sleep may be due to the short-wavelength-enriched light emitted by these electronic devices, given that artificial-light exposure has been shown experimentally to produce alerting effects, suppress melatonin, and phase-shift the biological clock. A few reports have shown that these devices suppress melatonin levels, but little is known about the effects on circadian phase or the following sleep episode, exposing a substantial gap in our knowledge of how this increasingly popular technology affects sleep. Here we compare the biological effects of reading an electronic book on a light-emitting device (LE-eBook) with reading a printed book in the hours before bedtime. Participants reading an LE-eBook took longer to fall asleep and had reduced evening sleepiness, reduced melatonin secretion, later timing of their circadian clock, and reduced next-morning alertness than when reading a printed book. These results demonstrate that evening exposure to an LE-eBook phase-delays the circadian clock, acutely suppresses melatonin, and has important implications for understanding the impact of such technologies on sleep, performance, health, and safety.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2014; 112(4). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1418490112 · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Eating at a time when the internal circadian clock promotes sleep is a novel risk factor for weight gain and obesity, yet little is known about mechanisms by which circadian misalignment leads to metabolic dysregulation in humans. We studied 14 adults in a 6-d inpatient simulated shiftwork protocol and quantified changes in energy expenditure, macronutrient utilization, appetitive hormones, sleep, and circadian phase during day versus nightshift work. We found that total daily energy expenditure increased by ∼4% on the transition day to the first nightshift, which consisted of an afternoon nap and extended wakefulness, whereas total daily energy expenditure decreased by ∼3% on each of the second and third nightshift days, which consisted of daytime sleep followed by afternoon and nighttime wakefulness. Contrary to expectations, energy expenditure decreased by ∼12-16% during scheduled daytime sleep opportunities despite disturbed sleep. The thermic effect of feeding also decreased in response to a late dinner on the first nightshift. Total daily fat utilization increased on the first and second nightshift days, contrary to expectations, and carbohydrate and protein utilization were reduced on the second nightshift day. Ratings of hunger were decreased during nightshift days despite decreases in 24-h levels of the satiety hormones leptin and peptide-YY. Findings suggest that reduced total daily energy expenditure during nightshift schedules and reduced energy expenditure in response to dinner represent contributing mechanisms by which humans working and eating during the biological night, when the circadian clock is promoting sleep, may increase the risk of weight gain and obesity.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2014; 111(48). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1412021111 · 9.81 Impact Factor
  • 03/2015; 1(1-1):5-8. DOI:10.1016/j.sleh.2014.12.008