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Environ Health Prev Med. 2014 Sep;19(5):354-61. doi: 10.1007/s12199-014-0402-x. Epub 2014 Aug 5.

The effect of nocturnal blue light exposure from light-emitting diodes on wakefulness and energy metabolism the following morning.

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Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan.



The control of sleep/wakefulness is associated with the regulation of energy metabolism. The present experiment was designed to assess the effect of nocturnal blue light exposure on the control of sleep/wakefulness and energy metabolism until next noon.


In a balanced cross-over design, nine young male subjects sitting in a room-size metabolic chamber were exposed either to blue LEDs or to no light for 2 h in the evening. Wavelength of monochromatic LEDs was 465 nm and its intensity was 12.1 μW/cm(2).


During sleep, sleep architecture and alpha and delta power of EEG were similar in the two experimental conditions. However, the following morning, when subjects were instructed to stay awake in a sitting position, duration judged as sleep at stages 1 and 2 was longer for subjects who received than for those who received no light exposure. Energy metabolism during sleep was not affected by evening blue light exposure, but the next morning energy expenditure, oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production and the thermic effect of breakfast were significantly lower in subjects who received blue light exposure than in those who received no light exposure.


Exposure to low intensity blue light in the evening, which does not affect sleep architecture and energy metabolism during sleep, elicits drowsiness and suppression of energy metabolism the following morning.

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