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Friday, August 7, 2020

Detroit has second-highest levels of light pollution in the U.S., and highest percentage of people getting less than 7 hours of sleep each night

Posted By on Fri, Aug 7, 2020 at 1:51 PM

  • Theron Logan, Detroit Stock City

Could Detroit's light pollution be keeping the city's residents up at night?

That's what the authors of a new study by Sleep Junkie and Savvy Sleeper believe could be happening. Analyzing the top 100 most populous cities in the U.S., the researchers found the Motor City has the dubious distinction of ranking as No. 2 of the nation's cities with the highest levels of light pollution, and No. 1 in cities where people reported getting less than seven hours of sleep each night.

When it comes to high levels of light pollution, Detroit was surpassed only by the nation's capitol of Washington, D.C.

The researchers used a combination of data from, the CDC’s 500 Cities Project, and a survey of nearly 1,000 people.

Aside from washing out the sight of the Milky Way from the night sky, light pollution, like regular pollution, can have a negative effect on people's health because of the way it can disrupt people's biological clocks.

"There's a huge amount of evidence that lack of sleep contributes to lower cognitive ability during waking hours, and that productivity, mental health, and social life are dramatically affected when people are sleep deprived," Sleep Junkie's Editor-in-Chief Meg Riley says.

Experts discussed the phenomena in a 2017 Detroit Free Press article.

In Detroit, lights shine all night at buildings like MotorCity Casino-Hotel and Ford Field, the latter of which prompted a petition by Detroiters who said the blueish lights that shine over Ford Field all nigh year-round was disrupting their slumber.

"Detroiters don’t deserve pollution — light pollution included," the petition read.

In the meantime, the study's authors advise not looking at your phone, computer, or TV just before going to bed.

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