Morning sunlight reduces length of hospitalization in bipolar depression

Francesco Benedetti, Cristina Colombo, Barbara Barbini, Euridice Campori, Enrico Smeraldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Bright artificial light improves non-seasonal depression. Preliminary observations suggest that sunlight could share this effect. Methods: Length of hospitalization was recorded for a sample of 415 unipolar and 187 bipolar depressed inpatients, assigned to rooms with eastern (E) or western (W) windows. Results: Bipolar inpatients in E rooms (exposed to direct sunlight in the morning) had a mean 3.67-day shorter hospital stay than patients in W rooms. No effect was found in unipolar inpatients. Conclusions: Natural sunlight can be an underestimated and uncontrolled light therapy for bipolar depression. Limitations: This is a naturalistic retrospective observation, which needs to be confirmed by prospective studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-223
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume62
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Bipolar depression
  • Hospitalization
  • Sunlight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Neurology
  • Psychology(all)

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