Sleeping With The TV On May Make You Gain Weight

Henrietta Strickland
Июня 11, 2019

Dozing off to late-night TV or sleeping with other lights on may mix up your metabolism and lead to weight gain and even obesity, provocative but preliminary US research suggests.

The study researchers found that women who reported exposure to light at night while sleeping were more likely to gain weight and become obese over almost six years, compared with women who were not exposed to light at night.

The group provided information on their weight, Body Mass Index (BMI), and any exposure to artificial light during the night.

The findings add to a growing body of evidence suggesting that light at night may be bad for health.

At their first check-in, the women were asked to report on their light exposure while they slept - whether they kept lights on in their rooms or in other rooms, whether light shone in through the windows, whether they slept with a TV on, and even from low-light sources such as clock radios.

Although the new findings aren't conclusive, reducing your exposure to light and night may not be a bad idea.

Ms Sandler said it's likely similar results would be found in men. "Further prospective and interventional studies could help elucidate this association and clarify whether lowering exposure to ALAN while sleeping can promote obesity prevention". However, most of this research was conducted in night-shift workers who are exposed to high levels of light at night; these results may not apply to the general population. Participants' weight was recorded at the start of the study, and they were followed for an average of 5.7 years.

They were also about 30 per cent more likely to become obese.

Compared to those not exposed to artificial light, women who slept with a light or television on in the same room were 17% more likely to gain 5kg or more over the next five years.

"It's really important that you have that daytime-nighttime cycle, so that you appropriately regulate hormones, hormones that regulate your sleep, hormones that regulate your hunger, said lead author Dale Sandler, a scientist with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, a division of NIH".

Other possibilities were that light acts as a "chronic stressor" disrupting the release of stress hormones such as glucocorticoids that play a part in regulating food intake, or that there may be another mechanism at work that affects metabolism directly.

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