If peace and quiet in a dark room is your idea of paradise, we have bad news: too much time spent in a dimly lit room is negatively impacting our brains.
According to a new study published in the US has found that spending too much time in a dark room could hinder your brain’s ability to function.
The report, conducted by Michigan State University, tested the brain function of Nile grass rats who share similar sleep cycles to humans. Over a four week period, they exposed them to dim and bright lights.
Researches discovered that rats exposed dull lighting lost 30 per cent of their function in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory. Their spatial awareness also suffered.
Conversely, exposure to bright lights caused significant improvement in spatial awareness. In good news, decreases in performance were also reversed after re-exposure to brighter spaces.
“When we exposed the rats to dim lights, mimicking the cloudy days of Midwestern winters or typical indoor lighting, the animals showed impairments in spatial learning,” says study co-investigator Antonio “Tony” Nunez. “This is similar to when people can’t find their way back to their cars in a busy parking lot after spending a few hours in a shopping mall or movie theatre.”
The study could be crucial for elderly people suffering from eyesight impairments who don’t get as much exposure to brightness.