If you’re afraid of sleeping in the dark, now might be a good time to put on your big-boy jammies and get over it. According to researchers from Ohio State University, exposure to even dim light from things like a computer, TV, or nightlight while you sleep may cause depression.
Using hamsters as, um, guinea pigs, scientists found that just four weeks of exposure to artificial light while sleeping left the critters more lethargic and disinterested in drinking sugar water — that’s basically rodent crack — than hamsters who slept in complete darkness.
One reason for this may be because the artificial light messes with melatonin levels and natural circadian rhythms (our pre-programmed sleep/wake cycle). Interrupting that flow has been linked to obesity, diabetes, and reproductive issues (in other words, your boner might suffer).
Now for the good news. The hamsters’ depression quickly vanished once they started sleeping without any artificial light around them. That means you’ll start feeling better once you finally decide to quit LOLing at Facebook status updates or, worse, watching Leno as you drift off to sleep.