Medicine

Sleeping with your TV on could make you gain weight, study says

Sleeping with your TV on could make you gain weight, study says

He said the link between exposure to artificial light at night and obesity may not indicate that one causes the other. The few studies that have been conducted in the general population have typically collected data at a single point in time, so researchers haven't been able to determine whether light at night is tied to weight gain over time.

The researchers analysed health and lifestyle data on almost 44,000 USA women enrolled in an ongoing study seeking clues to causes of breast cancer.

In the current study, women who slept with a television or light on in their room were more likely to have a BMI that put them in the overweight or obese range and to experience at least a 10 percent increase in BMI during the study than women who slept in total darkness.

Ms Sandler said she is confident that the added weight wasn't from things like snacking at night, because the analysis accounted for other variables that could have led to weight gain such as diet, physical activity and sleep duration.

Although causal inferences cannot be drawn from these results and more studies are needed to examine this association, reducing exposure to artificial light at night while sleeping could be considered in obesity prevention interventions.

He is a postdoctoral fellow at the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

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So do you need to kick the habit and cut the lights?

Women who sleep with a TV on or with other artificial light in the room may have a higher risk of weight gain or obesity, a new study claims. The women also answered questions about their level of exposure to light at night while sleeping, such as light from other rooms, light from outside, light from a TV, or light in the bedroom.

To get a better idea of how artificial light exposure at night affects women's weight, researchers logged participants' weight, height, waist and hip circumference, and body mass index measurements at the beginning of the study, and compared it to the same data gathered five years later.

"Even with the lights off, our bedrooms are often aglow at night from luminous clocks, light-emitting diodes from electronic devices, and outside lighting that seeps through porous curtains and shades", Gangwisch said.

Park said that exposure to artificial light at night may suppress the sleep hormone melatonin and disrupt the natural sleep-wake cycle.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Professor Malcolm von Schantz, from the University of Surrey, said: "We know that light in the late evening will delay our body clocks".