Background: Bright nocturnal light has been known to suppress melatonin secretion. However, bright light exposure during the day-time might reduce light-induced melatonin suppression (LIMS) at night. The effective proportion of day-time light to night-time light is unclear; however, only a few studies on accurately controlling both day- and night-time conditions have been conducted. This study aims to evaluate the effect of different day-time light intensities on LIMS. Methods: Twelve male subjects between the ages of 19 and 23 years (mean ± S.D., 20.8 ± 1.1) gave informed consent to participate in this study. They were exposed to various light conditions (<10, 100, 300, 900 and 2700 lx) between the hours of 09:00 and 12:00 (day-time light conditions). They were then exposed to bright light (300 lx) again between 01:00 and 02:30 (night-time light exposure). They provided saliva samples before (00:55) and after night-time light exposure (02:30). Results: A one-tailed paired t test yielded significant decrements of melatonin concentration after night-time light exposure under day-time dim, 100- and 300-lx light conditions. No significant differences exist in melatonin concentration between pre- and post-night-time light exposure under day-time 900- and 2700-lx light conditions. Conclusions: Present findings suggest the amount of light exposure needed to prevent LIMS caused by ordinary nocturnal light in individuals who have a general life rhythm (sleep/wake schedule). These findings may be useful in implementing artificial light environments for humans in, for example, hospitals and underground shopping malls.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Human Factors and Ergonomics
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Physiology (medical)