Health Care

Sleeping With Your TV Or Laptop On Could Lead To Obesity

Sleeping With Your TV Or Laptop On Could Lead To Obesity”

But new research points to another potential cause: how much light you're exposed to at night.

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, a provocative but preliminary United States research suggests.

The questionnaire included questions about exposure to light during sleep, and participants indicated whether they slept with no light, a small night light, light outside of the room, or a light or television on in the room.

The results suggest that cutting off lights at bedtime could reduce women's chances of becoming obese.

The study by the American Medical Association found a link between sleeping with the television or light on, and weight gain.

More than 43,000 women in the US ages 35 to 74 were observed in the study. "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".

The results varied with the level of artificial light at night exposure.

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The findings add to a growing body of evidence suggesting that light at night may be bad for health. "Properly timed light should be considered as part of a healthy life style", she said, along with exercise and good nutrition.

This sleep study comes on the heels of another study that found irregular sleep patterns, including not going to bed and waking up at the same time each day or getting different amounts of sleep each night, can put people at a higher risk for obesity, heart disease, hypertension, high blood sugar and other metabolic disorders.

Women who slept with a TV or light on in the room were 17% more likely to gain at least 11 pounds (5 kilograms) during the study, compared with the no-night-light group. Sleeping with a light on outside the room was associated with only slight increases in weight.

"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".

The study, which didn't include men, admits that there are other factors that could explain the weight gain, such as age, race, socioeconomic status, physical activity and calories consumed.

Lead author of the study, Yong-Moon Park, Ph.D., said, "Unhealthy high-calorie diet and sedentary behaviors have been the most commonly cited factors to explain the continuing rise in obesity".

Respondents reported exposure to artificial light at night (ALAN) from televisions, smart phones, computers, e-readers and tablets, which emit a short wavelength-enriched light or "blue light" that previous research has linked to melatonin suppression and circadian disruption.



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