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AHRQ--Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Advancing Excellence in Health Care

Topic Suggestion Description

View Topic Suggestion Disposition (PDF) 1.2 MB

Date submitted: January 17, 2014

Briefly describe a specific question, or set of related questions, about a health care test or treatment that this program should consider.
Effects of shade on room light melatonin suppression?


Describe why this topic is important.
Studies have established room lights suppress melatonin, disrupting the body's circadian rhythm. This disrupts the body's circadian rhythm, increasing sleep latency and makes it harder to wake up in the morning

No study has examined the effects of room lights with a shade. In most UK households, ceiling lights and bedroom lamps have a shade. A shade dims the light in a room.

The patients would be the general public, as the majority of people are exposed to room light in the evening.

The main benefit would be improving sleep health, by stopping the suppression of Melatonin and improving a person's circadian clock. Increasing Melatonin has a host of other benefits, like anti-alzheimer's, longevity and anti-cancer effects among others. It could aid people with delayed phase sleep disorder or other circadian and sleep disorders.

Potential Impact

How will an answer to your research question be used or help inform decisions for you or your group?
Establish whether exposure to shaded room lights impacts melatonin levels. With this information, the public can be guided on whether they should minimise exposure to light bulbs and room light in the evening.

If shaded room light does suppress melatonin, this could also aid research on new bulbs with adjustable color temperature and luminosity.

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