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Sleeping with the TV on may make you gain weight
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, provocative but preliminary U.S. research suggests.
“Evolutionarily we are supposed to be sleeping at night, in a dark place,” said lead author Dale Sandler, a scientist with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, a division of the National Institutes of Health.
Daily exposure to light and darkness helps maintain our 24-hour body clock, which regulates metabolism, sleep-promoting hormones, blood pressure, and other bodily functions.
Mounting research suggests disrupting that typical sleep-wake cycle may contribute to poor health, increasing risks for high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and obesity.
Women in the study had medical exams and filled out health and lifestyle questionnaires when they enrolled and periodically after. Those who reported sleeping at night in a room with a television on or light were more likely to gain at least 11 pounds over about five years than those who slept in darkness. They were also about 30 percent more likely to become obese. Sandler said its likely similar results would be found in men.
Animal research and smaller studies in humans have linked prolonged light exposure with weight gain. Exactly how is uncertain but scientists think disruption in release of hormones related to sleep and appetite may be involved.
Dr. Phyllis Zee, an expert in sleep and circadian rhythm disorders at Chicago’s Northwestern University, said, “Properly timed light should be considered as part of a healthy lifestyle.”
- by Republica
- by Agencies