Light Exposure While Sleeping May Effect Body Weight
The human body is acutely sensitive to all forms of stimulation we receive from the environment around us, and this can have a profound effect on how we metabolize and store body fat. In addition to our surroundings, the type of food we eat and the timing of when we eat affect our natural circadian rhythms that also impact our ability to lose weight. You can control many environmental and dietary factors to assist in your weight loss efforts.
Light at Night Affects Hormonal Balance
We are creatures of evolution, and rely on the function of hormones in our body to survive. Metabolism is controlled by a delicate balance that is influenced by environmental cues and gives us the ability to adapt to different stimuli.
Melatonin is the hormone that our body uses to signal when we’re tired and when it’s time to wake up. Any light when we’re trying to sleep will disrupt the release of melatonin and affect our sleep. This in turn influences the way fat is metabolized overnight and can halt natural weight management.
Study Demonstrates Negative Effects of Light During Sleep
The results of a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demonstrates that by increasing the amount of light exposure during the overnight hours, changes in body mass could be measured after just a week.
More importantly, it was noted that after 30 days of light exposure during sleep, test subjects were found to be glucose intolerant, a known risk factor for diabetes and weight gain. An author of the study performed at Ohio State University concluded, "Light at night is an environmental factor that may be contributing to the obesity epidemic in ways that people don't expect".Continued on the next page