12:10pm Monday 17 February 2020

New Research Urges Diabetics to Find the Light

DENVER – Spending time in a brightly lit room after a meal may help Type 2 diabetics regulate their blood sugar levels, according to research being presented today at the 58th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine and 2nd World Congress on Exercise is Medicine®.

In this study, Arnold Nelson, Ph.D., FACSM, a researcher with Louisiana State University, measured post-meal blood glucose levels of a Type 2 diabetic in three different lighting environments: dim light, bright light and bright light plus melatonin. On average, blood glucose levels were significantly lower in the bright light environment than in the other two.

“We knew that secretions of melatonin – a hormone that manages the body’s circadian rhythms – typically increase in dim light conditions, and elevated melatonin concentrations can cause high blood sugar,” said Nelson. “It seems melatonin came into play in both the dim light environment and the bright-light-plus-melatonin environment, and it inhibited our subject’s glucoregulatory abilities.”

Results suggest that Type 2 diabetics should be conscious of their post-meal lighting situation. Nelson encourages diabetics to spend most of the evening hours after a meal in brightly lit rooms, as they are best-suited to ensure proper blood sugar regulation.

Each lighting condition was repeated three times over the course of six months to ensure accurate results. The subject of this study was a physically active 56-year-old male with controlled blood glucose levels due to a combination of diet, exercise and medication. Nelson emphasized that this was a preliminary study involving a small sample size, and more research is needed to confirm or disprove the results.


The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 45,000 international, national and regional members and certified professionals are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.

The conclusions outlined in this news release are those of the researchers only and should not be construed as an official statement of the American College of Sports Medicine. Research highlighted in this news release has been presented at a professional meeting but has not been peer-reviewed.

Share on:

Health news