Viewed from space, the Earth at night is a beautiful sight: the lights of our towns, cities and road networks forming a dazzling web of gold and silver. Artificial light has been credited with reducing crime and boosting industrial growth, as well as letting us work and play for longer. Yet could it also be wreaking havoc on our health?
Some experts — and a growing body of research — suggest it is, with our overly-bright, artificially lit lives contributing to modern epidemics such as diabetes, obesity and even cancer.
And this isn’t just about our own habits — using glowing mobile phones late at night, for instance — light pollution from street lamps, car lights and shopfronts lit up around the clock could also have a harmful effect.