Does Watching TV at Night Cause Depression?

A new study suggests that your favorite late night TV show could be causing depression.

In a study using hamsters, those exposed to dim light—equivalent to a TV in a dark room—at night over a four week period showed signs of depression, such as being less active, less mobile when placed in water, and less interest in drinking sugar water (which to hamsters tastes awesome!).

According to an Ohio State University researcher, the findings may explain the rising rates of depression over the last 50 years.

In addition, the findings add to a growing body of research that suggest light at night is bad for your health. Earlier studies have found that exposure to artificial evening light may promote weight gain and certain types of cancer.

There is a thin silver lining, however:

The study also suggests that the negative effects of evening light were reversed in the animals after just two weeks of normal lighting conditions.

So if you’re feeling down, or finding that you’re less active when put in water, and if you’re willing to DVR the Daily Show, minimizing your exposure to artificial evening light could help improve mood.

For Thriveworks, I’m Anthony Centore