Light exposure at night has various implications for human health, but little is known about its effects on energy metabolism during subsequent sleep. We investigated the effects of polychromatic white light using conventional light-emitting diodes (LED) and an alternative light source, organic light-emitting diodes (OLED), producing reduced spectral content in the short wavelength of blue light (455 nm). Ten male participants were exposed to either LED, OLED (1000 lx), or dim (< 10 lx) light for 4 h before sleep in a metabolic chamber. Following OLED exposure, energy expenditure and core body temperature during sleep were significantly decreased (p < 0.001). Fat oxidation during sleep was significantly reduced (p = 0.001) after the exposure to LED compared with OLED.
Following exposure to OLED, fat oxidation positively correlated with the 6-sulfatoxymelatonin levels, suggesting that the role of melatonin in lipolysis differs depending on the light. These findings advance our knowledge regarding the role of light in energy metabolism during sleep and provide a potential alternative to mitigate the negative consequences of light exposure at night.