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Throughout the past 150 years, the advent of electricity has advanced technology to make life easier. However, scientists say it also has created a dependency to light that has led to the disappearance of night’s darkness.
“Our society is moving more and more to the 24-7 lifestyle, and we don’t really understand what the long-term health consequences are,” said Steven Lockley, PhD, neuroscientist in the Division of Sleep Medicine, who is among a cast of scientists, philosophers, historians and lighting designers appearing on “The City Dark,” a documentary about light pollution and the disappearing night sky.
The documentary premiered earlier this year and will be among the films showcased at the Boston Film Festival April 27–May 4.
During Lockley’s appearance in the documentary, he discusses his years of experience researching how light affects the body by altering the circadian rhythm, or one’s internal biological clock, especially at night and for people who work at night.
In addition to health problems, the documentary’s main theme explores the effect light pollution has on the environment, animals and “a generation of children without a glimpse of the universe above.”
This was the first time Lockley has worked with the documentary director and filmmaker Ian Cheney, and he was eager to share his insight on the subject. Lockley says he wanted to help shatter a misconception that many people have about light.
“One of the biggest myths is that lighting the night makes us more secure. But that’s not necessarily the case, as bright pools of light emphasize adjacent areas of darkness,” Lockley said. “A large amount of light at night—it’s just simply not necessary and may be harming our health. Dark nights and light days are the key to better sleep and health.”
For more information visit www.thecitydark.com or http://iffboston.slated.com/2011/films/citydarkthe_iancheney_iffboston2011