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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: This event will be videocast.

NIH videocast >

Event Description

Natural outdoor light and artificial indoor light can affect our mental and physical health. This is especially relevant in the current times when we are asked to stay home and spend less time outside. 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 intensity, wavelength, and timing, will be discussed, as will 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 posttraumatic stress disorder.

Speaker Bio

Helen Burgess, Ph.D., is professor in the Department of Psychiatry and codirector of the Sleep and Circadian Research Laboratory at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor. Her research funders include NCCIH, numerous other NIH components, and the American Sleep Medicine Foundation.