In a study reported in JAMA Internal Medicine, women habituated to sleeping with lights on or watching TV before bedtime exhibited a 17% increased likelihood of gaining over 5kg in a five-year period.
New York, NY (WS News Publisher) – Although sleeping with lights on may not be widely viewed as a negative habit, studies suggest potential links to depression, eyesight impairment, and an increased risk of cancer. If you think these diseases are far away from you, there is also bad news: scientists have found that sleeping with the light on is more likely to gain weight than the average person!
According to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, artificial lighting reduces melatonin production, leading to weight gain in women. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain, and it has some antioxidant effects. When people are close to falling asleep, they will start to secrete melatonin to repair the body.
Although sleeping with the lights on is considered harmful to health, there are still many people who fear dark rooms and must turn on the lights to fall asleep, but a small nightlight can also affect the secretion of melatonin. In addition, some people are used to watching TV before going to bed (or sleeping with the TV turned on), but the light from the TV can also affect sleep quality and health.
The researchers recruited 43,722 U.S. women between 35 and 74 for a five-year study. By simulating possible light sources in various sleep environments, including no lights, small nightlights in the room, lights outside the room, lights in the room, and TVs in the room, it was finally found that these lights have a positive relationship with obesity.
The study results show that people who are accustomed to sleeping with the lights on or who are accustomed to watching TV before going to bed are 17% more likely than the average person to gain more than 5 kilograms in weight within 5 years. The researchers speculate that reducing artificial light exposure during sleep may help prevent obesity.
On the other hand, getting enough sleep is even more important if people want to lose weight. Another study published in JAMA Internal Medicine showed that increasing sleep time can help reduce calorie intake, with people who slept longer than they previously slept reducing their daily calorie intake by an average of nearly 300 calories.
All participants were asked to continue their daily activities without any prescribed diet or physical activity in the study. The study found that compared to the control group, subjects who slept 8.5 hours a night reduced their caloric intake by an average of 270 calories per day, and some subjects unknowingly reduced their intake by 500 calories. According to the researchers, this figure translates into a loss of 11.8kg in 3 years.
The findings suggest that improving and maintaining a healthy sleep schedule may be part of obesity prevention and weight loss program. The researchers say this is a major finding of losing or maintaining weight. When people don’t get enough sleep, the brain increases the body’s cravings for carbohydrates, junk food, or overall food intake.