New study finds: Falling asleep in front of the TV or scrolling through your phone at night can make you fat!
By Frances Sheen
June 12 2019
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 almost 44,000 people.
And this includes people who fall asleep in front of the TV, reading their phone or watching a movie on their iPad.
The findings, published in journal JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that eliminating lights and screens from the bedroom could be another way to tackle the obesity crisis, the study authors said.
For five years, the researchers, from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in the US, followed 43,722 women aged between 35 and 74 years old.
The group provided information on their weight, Body Mass Index (BMI), and any exposure to artificial light during the night.
Women who slept with a light or television on in the same room were 17 per cent more likely to gain 5kg or more over the next five years.
According to the authors, ‘These results suggest that exposure to artificial light at night while sleeping may be a risk factor for weight gain and development of overweight or obesity.’
Professor Malcolm von Schantz, from the University of Surrey in the UK said, ‘The findings make perfect biological sense. ‘We know that light in the late evening will delay our body clocks.
‘We know from experimental studies in people that light at night affects our metabolism in ways that are consistent with increased risk of metabolic syndrome.
‘These new findings won’t change the advice to maintain good sleep hygiene, and avoid light and electronic distractions in the bedroom, but they add further strength to the case for this advice.’