Ladders recently wrote about how watching television, even the news, while you eating breakfast can have a very negative effect on your waistline. It turns out, switching on the TV or any streaming device is not smart to do when you are about to go to sleep either if you are trying to lose weight.
According to a 2019 study, blue light from a TV or really any device can lead to weight gain and even obesity in women.
The study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, looked at the lifestyles of 44,000 U.S. women. Of those who reported being exposed to blue light either from a television or a light while sleeping they found they had a higher chance of gaining weight or becoming obese over the next six years.
The women who were exposed gained 11 pounds over five years than those who didn’t have blue light as part of their sleeping routines. The blue light group also had a 30% chance of becoming obese.
Ever since the invention of the smart phone and all those other smart tablets, humans have not been able to put down their blue light machines and often take them to bed like an adult security blanket. From morning to night, we are usually sticking blue lights in our faces and it takes a toll.
“Evolutionarily we are supposed to be sleeping at night, in a dark place,” lead author Dale Sandler, a scientist with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, a division of the National Institutes of Health, said in an interview. “It’s much more important than people realize for a whole variety of health reasons.”
It should be noted though that this study only discovered an association between weight gain and blue light and not a causal action. The authors were not able to account for unhealthy eating and lack of exercise.
Though much research has outlined the negative effects of blue light on circadian rhythms and brain health in general, there are numerous studies that argue the impact isn’t as significant as we thought.
A recent study covered by Ladders News out of the University of Manchester found that blue light with the right combination of dimming lights in the evening and more vibrant, brighter lights during the day, can actually produce health benefits.