Self-luminous devices and melatonin suppression in adolescents

M. Figueiro, D. Overington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Self-luminous devices, such as computers, tablets and cell phones can emit short-wavelength (blue) light, which maximally suppresses melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that starts rising approximately 2 hours prior to natural bedtimes and signals darkness and sleep to the body. The present study extends from previously published studies showing that light from self-luminous devices suppresses melatonin and delays sleep. This is the first study conducted in the home environment that investigated the effects of self-luminous devices on melatonin levels in adolescents (age 15-17 years). Results show that 1-hour and 2-hour exposure to light from self-luminous devices significantly suppressed melatonin by approximately 23% and 38% respectively. Compared to our previous studies, these results suggest that adolescents may be more sensitive to light than other populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)966-975
Number of pages10
JournalLighting Research and Technology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


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