Women exposed to artificial light at night were more likely to gain weight and become obese or overweight over the next five years, according to a study of nearly 44,000 people. Health officials recommend taking TVs and other tech devices out of your bedroom in order to support a healthy sleeping environment.
Old women as well as women in their mid-30s, falling asleep with the lights or the television on has been associated with higher chances of getting to be overweight, in an ongoing research held in the United States. The research, which was published online June 10 in JAMA Internal Medicine, is the first to find an association between any exposure to artificial light at night while sleeping and weight gain in women.
"Our findings. suggest that lowering exposure to [artificial night at light] while sleeping may be a useful intervention for obesity prevention", researchers said. "This study highlights the importance of artificial light at night and gives women who sleep with lights or the television on a way to improve their health". Shorter sleep could prompt you to exercise less and eat more, he noted.
In the current study, women who slept with a television or light on in their room were more likely to have a BMI that put them in the overweight or obese range and to experience at least a 10 percent increase in BMI during the study than women who slept in total darkness.
The researchers note that exposure to artificial light while sleeping might reflect other unhealthy behaviours, such as a sedentary lifestyle, and socioeconomic disadvantage.
Although more studies are needed to cement the concept, experts say it makes "perfect biological sense" that having blue light around you at night could make you hungrier.
People face an increased risk of obesity if they fall asleep with the television on, according to new research.
Commenting on the paper, Malcolm von Schantz, a professor of Chronobiology at the University of Surrey in Britain said: "What is novel with this paper is that it is a longitudinal study comparing the weight of the same individuals at baseline and more than five years later".
Artificial light exposure at night from things like streetlights, storefronts, and even cell phone use, for example, can disrupt the natural light-dark cycle of circadian rhythms and suppress the release of the sleep hormone melatonin.