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The influence of bright and dim light on substrate metabolism, energy expenditure and thermoregulation in insulin-resistant individuals depends on time of day – published online 02/02/2022

Harmsen graphical abstract

Jan-Frieder Harmsen, Jakob Wefers, Daniel Doligkeit, Luc Schlangen, Bas Dautzenberg, Pascal Rense, Dirk van Moorsel, Joris Hoeks, Esther Moonen-Kornips, Marijke C. M. Gordijn, Wouter D. van Marken Lichtenbelt, Patrick Schrauwen

We spend most of our time indoors under light conditions that are either not as bright as natural daylight or too bright in the evening after sunset. Such suboptimal light conditions are considered to be risk factors for metabolic diseases, with detrimental effects of light exposure at night on sleep quality and glucose metabolism. In this issue, Harmsen and Wefers et al ( investigate the metabolic impact in insulin-resistant men and women of a 24h light scheme resembling the natural light/dark cycle, with bright light during daytime and dim light during the evening. They report that the optimised light scheme was beneficial for plasma glucose levels preceding dinner, energy expenditure during the night, and diurnal rhythms in peripheral skin temperature. The authors conclude that these findings provide the rationale to further explore indoor lighting designs to prevent or treat metabolic diseases.

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