Sleeping with a screen on can lead to female obesity

HealthSleeping with the TV on may make you gain weight			By Associated Press

HealthSleeping with the TV on may make you gain weight By Associated Press

Women who sleep with the television or a light on in the bedroom may be more likely to gain weight, according to a new study published Monday.

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.

Mounting research suggests disrupting that typical sleep-wake cycle may contribute to poor health, increasing risks for high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and obesity.

"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", the researchers conclude. But new research points to another potential cause: how much light you're exposed to at night.

Exactly how is uncertain but scientists think disruption in release of hormones related to sleep and appetite may be involved.

"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".

Artificial light has been shown to hamper sleep quality, and that's one of the reasons why blue-light-dimming features have crept into our mobile devices and computers.

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At their first check-in, the women were asked to report on their light exposure while they slept - whether they kept lights on in their rooms or in other rooms, whether light shone in through the windows, whether they slept with a TV on, and even from low-light sources such as clock radios.

The study involved nearly 44,000 U.S. women aged from their thirties to their seventies.

The analysis focused on data on sleep, light exposure and weight gain during the study, but not on breast cancer.

Commenting on the paper, Malcolm von Schantz, a professor of Chronobiology at the University of Surrey in Britain said: "What is novel with this paper is that it is a longitudinal study comparing the weight of the same individuals at baseline and more than five years later".

Women who slept with a light or television on were 17 percent more likely to have gained 5 kilograms or more, the researchers found. While the study doesn't prove that sleeping with a light on causes weight gain, it suggests the two may be linked, the researchers said.

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.

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