Monash University

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Reason: Under embargo until May 2024. After this date a copy can be supplied under Section 51(2) of the Australian Copyright Act 1968 by submitting a document delivery request through your library.

The Epidemiology of Light and Mental Health in the UK Biobank

posted on 2023-05-23, 21:28 authored by ANGUS CHARLES BURNS
Modern electric lighting environments can disrupt the human circadian system by blurring the distinction between day and night. Many psychiatric disorders are characterised by disrupted circadian rhythms. In this thesis, we examined the association of free-living day and night light exposure with risk for and symptom severity of psychiatric illness. We also used genetics to identify the heritable basis of light sensitivity. We report that low daylight and bright night light exposure, as well as increased light sensitivity, are associated with risk for psychiatric illness, including: depression, PTSD, psychosis and bipolar disorder.


Principal supervisor

Sean Cain

Additional supervisor 1

Jacqueline M. Lane

Additional supervisor 2

Andrew J. K. Phillips

Additional supervisor 3

Richa Saxena

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Psychological Sciences

Campus location



Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences