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Struggles with Weight or Cholesterol? Turn Off Your Light At Night!

>> Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It is a well known fact that not getting enough sleep is a risk factor for obesity.  However, if you think you ARE one of the lucky ones who actually does get enough sleep, ask yourself if you are getting enough sleep in darkness?  A new study suggests that people who are exposed to light at night (even if they are sleeping) may be at an increased risk of carrying extra body weight, and even of having higher cholesterol!

The study, published in the current issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, examined body weight and cholesterol levels amongst older people (average age 73) in Japan.  Researchers went into participants' homes and recorded exposure to light overnight, and found that those who are exposed to light overnight were 89% more likely to be obese, and 72% more likely to have cholesterol problems, compared to those who sleep in the dark.  

While this study needs to be repeated in a younger population to know if these findings hold true outside of older age, there is already lots of evidence that sleep deprivation increases the risk of obesity, and that blue light exposure in particular (including from computer and mobile device screens) makes it harder to fall asleep - a habit that is particularly relevant for younger generations.

The Bottom Line:  Lights Out!

Dr Sue Pedersen © 2012 

Follow me on Twitter for daily tips! @drsuepedersen 



I am excited that you have arrived at my site, and I hope you are too - consider this the first step towards a Healthier New You!! As a medical doctor, Endocrinologist, and obesity specialist, I am absolutely passionate about helping people with weight management. Though there is certainly no magic cure for obesity, there IS a successful treatment plan out there for you - it is all about understanding the elements that contribute to your personal weight struggle, and then finding the treatment plan that suits your needs and your lifestyle. The way to finding your personal solution is to learn as much as you can about obesity: how our toxic environment has shaped us into an overweight society; the diversity of contributors to obesity; and what the treatment options out there are really all about. Knowledge Is Power!!

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