Sleeping with a screen on can lead to female obesity

Falling asleep to a movie or TV show could be helping you gain weight

The new study further highlights "the common recommendation that we make for people to remove TVs and other technology out of the bedroom environment to facilitate healthy sleep", said Dr. Nathaniel Watson, a professor of neurology and director of the Harborview Sleep Clinic at the University of Washington in Seattle, who was not involved in the study. Those who reported sleeping at night in a room with a television on or a light were more likely to gain at least 4.9 kgs over about five years than those who slept in darkness. The results suggest that cutting off lights at bedtime could reduce women's chances of becoming obese.

The researchers considered several other compounding factors, like sleep deprivation, which could have played a role in the association between artificial light exposure at night and weight gain. Exposure to any artificial light at night while sleeping was associated with measures of obesity at the study baseline and follow-up. While a fatty eating routine and inactive way of life are the most regularly referred to clarifications for stoutness, some past research has likewise connected exposure to counterfeit light during the evening to an expanded danger of weight gain, analysts note in the study.

"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". Sleeping with a light on outside the room was associated with only slight increases in weight.

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.

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"Humans are genetically adapted to a natural environment consisting of sunlight during the day and darkness at night", Chandra Jackson, Ph.D. and co-author of the study explained, "Exposure to artificial light at night may alter hormones and other biological processes in ways that raise the risk of health conditions like obesity".

"Our findings. suggest that lowering exposure to [artificial night at light] while sleeping may be a useful intervention for obesity prevention", researchers said. Also, the study did not include men. And the level of artificial light seemed to matter, Park said.

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. Most clinical advances would not be possible without the knowledge of fundamental basic research.

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