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Lighting Up Our Lives: How Light Influences Our Mental and Physical Health

Speaker: Helen Burgess, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Psychiatry; Co-Director, Sleep and Circadian Research Laboratory

The University of Michigan

Date: June 30, 2020 - 11:00 a.m. ET to 12:00 p.m. ET

Location: Lipsett Amphitheater, Building 10, NIH Main Campus, Bethesda, MD

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Event Description

Natural outdoor light and artificial indoor light can affect our mental and physical health. Dr. Burgess will examine how light reaches the brain and can alter brain centers that regulate circadian (body clock) timing, sleep, and mood. Specific properties of light, such as its intensity, wavelength, and timing, will be discussed, as well as individual differences in light sensitivity. The speaker will also examine current approaches to morning light treatment and how it can be used to improve health and reduce symptom burden in a variety of clinical disorders such as chronic-pain conditions, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.