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24/7 Artificial Light

December 25, 2011

‘Artificial light prevents trees and plants from adjusting to seasonal changes, alters animal behavior, foraging areas, migration timing and routes, and breeding cycles. Disruption of circadian rhythm is linked to depression, insomnia, cardiovascular disease, cancer.'(P Sassone-Corsi, Pharmacology Dept, Univ Cal, Irvine)

Human Beings are born to be diurnal animals (i.e. function during the day time). However, in order to maintain the so called ‘civilized’ structures of our modern society, we sacrifice the basic human right of millions of people worldwide to a restful sleep at night.

Too much artificial light upsets pineal gland function. It is theorized that light striking the retina will send signals to the pineal via neurotransmitters and that sunlight is ideal, while the spectrum of artificial light and light passing through glass is changed and may alter pineal function.

This disrupts the body’s circadian rhythm(including hormone levels), brain wave patterns, cell regulation, etc..

It is commonly known that melatonin levels drop precipitously in the presence of excessive artificial light.

For people who sleep “normal hours”, natural melatonin production rises sharply in the evening, and peaks between 1 am and 3 am. The peaks become smaller with advancing age after early childhood. The brain may secrete up to 20 times more melatonin at night than in the day time, hence melatonin is nicknamed “the hormone of darkness“.

Melatonin plays an important role in the following:

  • Regulating the circadian rhythms (daily body cycles)
  • Regulating the sleep patterns. This includes the speed of falling asleep,         duration and the quality of sleep etc.
  • Influencing hormones in the body that regulate reproduction, the timing of ovulation, and aging etc.
  •  Anti-aging: Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant, a compound that blocks the action of free radicals (activated oxygen molecules) that can damage cells. Therefore some scientists suggest that it has anti-aging functions.
  • Anti-cancer: Some studies showed that melatonin may suppress the growth of certain types of cancer cells, and may stimulate the natural killer cells (a type of white blood cells) to attack tumors.

Artificial light increases the amount of night activity and people don’t get enough sunlight, therefore they over-produce Melatonin.

  • People that work nights or stay up late and don’t get outside much during the daylight hours won’t inhibit pineal secretions and this will overtax the pineal gland. Even a brightly lit room has only a fraction of the light that being outside has.
  • Stress, refined sugars, and other factors that increase epinephrine output (as well as epinephrine medications) will increase melatonin production and if chronic cause pineal dysfunction.

24/7 illumination,  and the resulting changes in circadian rhythms; disharmonizes people from natural cycles, which affects our physical and mental states.

This may also have an affect on the more subtle aspects of consciousness. Disruption of pineal gland function also seems detrimental to psychic abilities. In Eastern (Indian) terminology the ‘third eye’ is called the ‘ajna chakra’, about which there is a considerable body of information.

All psychic systems have their physical aspects in the body . . . With ajna chakra the physical equivalent is the pineal gland, which has long baffled doctors and scientists as to its precise function…  Yogis, who are scientists of the subtle mind, have always spoken of telepathy as a “siddhi”, a psychic power for thought communication and clairaudience, etc. The medium of such siddhis is ajna chakra, and its physical terminus is the pineal gland, which is connected to the brain. It has been stated by great yogis . . . that the pineal gland is the receptor and sender of the subtle vibrations which carry thoughts and psychic phenomena throughout the cosmos.’ (Swami Satyananda Saraswati, 1972).

‘Most spontaneous psi events occur whilst the person is drowsy, or asleep and dreaming. All research indicates that this state of consciousness is psi-conducive. Melatonin, and probably pinoline, are made at night and are related to sleep and possibly pinoline is the trigger for dreaming, in that it is an endogenously produced hallucinogen.’ (S. M. Roney- Dougal. Recent Findings Relating to the possible role of the Pineal Gland in affecting Psychic Ability.Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 55, No. 815,)

Artificial light adversely affects everything from algae levels in water that determine cleanliness, to the behavior of plants, insects and animals.

One quarter of energy consumption worldwide is used for lighting.

‘Light pollution is one of the fastest growing and most pervasive forms of environmental pollution, according to many environmentalists, naturalists, and medical researchers.’ (Ecological Consequences of Artificial Night Lighting. Rich, Longcore (eds.) (2006) Environmental Health Perspectives v117 (2009)

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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