New research studied the results of artificial light on sleep. The survey carried out on 43,722 women reveals that sleeping with a light source such as television promotes weight gain and long-term health problems.
We already know the main external factors that increase the risk of obesity: the lack of physical activity, a diet too high in calories, stress, or the quality of sleep. But a new study has gone further on this last factor: the impact of light on weight gain. On the following researchers, turn off the TV and cut of any artificial light source at the time of sunset would be the right way forward to reduce the risk of gaining weight.
Sleeping with the TV on = five extra pounds
To assess this criterion, the researchers interviewed 43,722 women and measured their weight, height, as well as their waist, and hips. Aged between 35 and 74 years old, the participants did not include lifestyle habits that could influence the study, such as sleeping during the day or being employed in shift work (such as 2x8 or 3x8). The survey asked participants whether she sleeps with more or more minor light sources nearby.
The effects enabled the researchers to understand the influence of artificial light on weight gain. If, for example, the use of a small night light did not have a substantial effect, falling asleep near a lamp or television had a 17% additional chance of gaining 5 kilos. The presence of light emanating from another room, on the other hand, had no noticeable effect.
How does it work?
During sleep, a hormone is naturally produced by the human body: melatonin, the release of which influences the body's biological mechanisms, and which depends mainly on light, as explained by Dr. Chandra Jackson, co-author of the study: " humans are genetically accustomed to natural light changing between day and night. Exposure to artificial light disrupts the body's functioning and increases the risk of health problems such as obesity.
City dwellers more exposed
Beyond reducing light sources at home, the co-author emphasizes that people living in cities are more exposed to artificial light, whether through neon lights in stores, lights in buildings, or signage. A finding that could present the lights of cities as a public health problem is an environmental problem. Note, still, that this research centered completely on a representation made up of women. Other scientific research will have to be carried out to confirm or not this tendency in humans.