Or do you go to bed with low levels of melatonin when you stay behind a computer screen all day?

  • $\begingroup$ Melatonin influences sleepiness but isn't necessary for sleep: you can sleep even if you are in the light all day. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Dec 17 '16 at 0:32
  • $\begingroup$ but how about the levels of melatonin under constant light? does the brain realize at some point it's not going to get dark somehow and starts producing melatonin, or will the brain simply not be able to produce it like it normally would do? @B $\endgroup$ – Yuri Borges Dec 17 '16 at 0:41
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    $\begingroup$ I think that would be a better question than the one you posted. I would try to avoid words like "realize" since even though we are talking about the brain we aren't really talking about cognitive control. What you seem to be wondering is whether the effect of light on melatonin release (it is release that is affected by light, I believe, not production) adapts to light level over long periods of time. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Dec 17 '16 at 0:48

This paper, for example, shows that indeed, melatonin is suppressed more in the light after a week of dim light exposure compared to after a week of bright light exposure.

However, the authors note that although the result was statistically significant, the effects were fairly small compared to the overall variability in the data.


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