Light pollution can be detrimental to our health without our realizing it. Our natural body rhythms are in tune with days and nights, and we benefit from the regeneration of the hormone melatonin during sleep. Most people are used to sleeping in a darkened space, and the overabundance of artificial light has affected our sleep habits. Today, we sleep less time and deal with distractions from lamps, lights, televisions, computer monitors, street lamps and other outdoor lighting; this means we often are unable to produce sufficient melatonin to power our immune systems and metabolism. Low melatonin levels also may put us at risk for cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
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