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J Affect Disord. 2001 Feb;62(3):221-3.

Morning sunlight reduces length of hospitalization in bipolar depression.

Author information

1
Istituto Scientifico Ospedale San Raffaele, Department of Neuropsychiatric Sciences, University of Milan, School of Medicine, Via Prinetti 29, 20127 Milan, Italy. benedetti.francesco@hsr.it

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Bright artificial light improves non-seasonal depression. Preliminary observations suggest that sunlight could share this effect.

METHODS:

Length of hospitalization was recorded for a sample of 415 unipolar and 187 bipolar depressed inpatients, assigned to rooms with eastern (E) or western (W) windows.

RESULTS:

Bipolar inpatients in E rooms (exposed to direct sunlight in the morning) had a mean 3.67-day shorter hospital stay than patients in W rooms. No effect was found in unipolar inpatients.

CONCLUSIONS:

Natural sunlight can be an underestimated and uncontrolled light therapy for bipolar depression.

LIMITATIONS:

This is a naturalistic retrospective observation, which needs to be confirmed by prospective studies.

PMID:
11223110
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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