Tuesday, 18 June, 2019

Falling Asleep With the TV On Can Be Associated With Obesity

Keeping Your TV on at Night May Lead to Weight Gain Credit Shutterstock
Anna Jefferson | 13 June, 2019, 23:08

For example - the women who slept with the light or TV on were 22 percent more likely to put on weight - this could be because a lack of sleep makes you more hungry thanks to hormones that are released when you're exhausted.

"Although poor sleep by itself was associated with obesity and weight gain, it did not explain the associations between exposure to artificial light while sleeping and weight", said the study's corresponding author Dale Sandler, chief of the Epidemiology Branch at the NIEHS.

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

It also found that women who slept around artificial light were 22 per cent more likely to become newly overweight during the period, and 33 per cent more likely to become newly obese.

The women were classified according to their level of exposure to artificial light at night (ALAN), which came from a variety of sources, from small nightlights or clock radios to light shining in from the street to televisions or room lights.

Obesity means having too much body fat and overweight means weighing too much, according to the US National Library of Medicine.

"Turning off the light while sleeping may be a useful tool for reducing a possibility of weight gain and becoming overweight or obese", said lead author Dr. Yong-Moon Mark Park.

"We are in the middle of an obesity epidemic in the United States and the things that we usually think about for obesity prevention are hard for people to do - eat a better diet, get more exercise - and we don't seem to be making a dent", Sandler said. A normal or healthy BMI is typically considered to be between 18.5 and 24.9.

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Lack of sleep has always been associated with obesity, but until now, the association between artificial light exposure while sleeping and weight gain has been unknown.

"There was a dose response, in that the more light in the room the stronger the association", Sandler said.

In analyzing the health and lifestyle data on almost 44,000 USA women enrolled in an ongoing breast cancer study, scientists discovered that those who reported sleeping at night in a room with a television on or a light were more likely to gain at least 11 pounds over about five years than those who slept in darkness.

Light coming in from outside the room was associated with more modest weight gain, researchers found.

'We know that light in the late evening will delay our body clocks.

The television and any bedside or overhead lights need to go off, and then people need to look for other light sources to eliminate, he advised.

However, commenting on the study, Professor Malcolm von Schantz, from the University of Surrey, said, "The findings make ideal biological sense".

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