Sleeping with artificial light at night associated with weight gain in women

Women exposed to artificial light at night were more likely to gain weight

Women exposed to artificial light at night were more likely to gain weight

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

Using this information, the scientists were able to study obesity and weight gain in women exposed to artificial light at night with women who reported sleeping in dark rooms.

The NIEHS team is the first to spot this kind of connection between artificial light and weight gain.

Keeping a light on might also result in poorer sleep.

The researchers analyzed health and lifestyle data on almost 44,000 USA women enrolled in an ongoing study seeking clues to causes of breast cancer. They weren't shift workers, daytime sleepers or pregnant when the study began. "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 National Institutes of Health study published Monday isn't proof, but it bolsters evidence suggesting that too much exposure to light at night could pose health risks.

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

It's also possible that reliance on artificial light at night and obesity are both linked to other factors, such as "loneliness, anxiety or some form of social insecurity", Katz said.

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"Humans are genetically adapted to a natural environment consisting of sunlight during the day and darkness at night", says co-author Chandra Jackson, Ph.D.

The authors acknowledge that other confounding factors could explain the associations between artificial light at night and weight gain.

Or light at night might have a more direct effect on obesity - exposure to light at night may disrupt levels of sleep or stress hormones, or directly affect metabolism, in ways that contribute to weight gain, they said.

"Our findings. suggest that lowering exposure to [artificial night at light] while sleeping may be a useful intervention for obesity prevention", researchers said. He is a postdoctoral fellow at the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

Sleeping with a cellphone, bright alarm clock on or a television next to your bed puts women at risk for weight gain, a new study found.

When controlling for other characteristics that may be associated with increased artificial light exposure at night, like age, race, having an older spouse or children in the house, socioeconomic status, calorie consumption and physical activity, the researchers' findings did not change.

Getting enough quality sleep every night is a tip at the top of any healthy living checklist, and lack of sleep has indeed been associated with a variety of conditions including obesity.

"Unhealthy high-calorie diet and sedentary behaviors have been the most commonly cited factors to explain the continuing rise in obesity", Park said.

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