An opinion piece in The National, a site that covers the United Arab Emirates, advocates for less light at night. 

The street is brighter than usual. The corner house has been decorated in fairy lights from roof to floor. Someone must be newly wed. Furthermore, the next-door neighbour has fitted two powerful new spotlights to illuminate his driveway.

Meanwhile, inside the houses, phone lights blink on and off throughout the night, impatiently demanding attention. Similarly, a row of green lights on a Wi-Fi router and a computer performing a nocturnal download make further contributions to this night-time symphony of light.

This ritual has become so widespread and common as to have earned itself a fun acronym; scientists call it “Alan”, which stands for artificial light at night. I imagine the scientist who came up with this acronym was himself called Alan.

Cute acronyms aside though, artificial light at night poses a serious risk to human health. Our bright nights come at a price. Beside the environmental consequences of perpetual illumination there are also negative effects on the mind and body.

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