Unwanted Weight Gain Connected To Artificial Light At Night?
A recent study from the National Institutes of Health found an association between exposure to artificial light at night while sleeping and weight gain in women. Analysis of the study’s results revealed that using a small nightlight wasn’t linked to weight gain but showed that women who reported sleeping with another light or television on in the bedroom were more likely to have gained weight over the study’s five years. Light coming from outside the room was linked to more modest gains.
Dr. Weil has previously written about an association between exposure to artificial light at night and an increased risk of breast cancer.
A good health habit is to turn off all devices and screens that emit blue light at least 1-2 hours prior to bedtime. This can significantly improve quality of sleep. Phones, tablets, televisions, computers: the blue light these devices emit can suppress production of the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin. If turning them off is not an option, at least set the display to block as much blue light as possible or wear blue light-blocking glasses.
You may also want to consider charging smartphones, and other devices in another room – not at your bedside – so you are not tempted to check anything in the middle of the night.
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