Study Says Sleeping With The TV On Can Cause Obesity

A disruption in the sleep cycle can lead to a number of health concerns. Not having enough sleep on a regular basis can cause obesity, cardiovascular problems, diabetes, etc. A previous study published in The American Journal of Human Biology says that when one sleeps less, the production of the hormone ghrelin increases while that of leptin decreases.

This expands one’s appetite and keeps one from feeling satiated and hence, makes him snack in the middle of the night which, in turn, increases weight. The reverse is also true – obesity can also cause sleep deprivation and sleep problems such as sleep apnea.

Now a new study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal explores yet another association. This latest report says that sleeping with the television on can cause weight gain due to light exposure.

What Does This Study Reveal?

A new study by the National Institutes of Health that was published on Monday added proof to the already mounting research on how light at night can adversely impact health. Accordingly, dozing off whilst watching television late at night doesn’t do well for metabolism and can lead to weight gain as well as obesity.

This preliminary research emphasizes on how a disruption in the 24-hour clock of the body that regulates metabolism, sleep-producing hormones, blood pressure, etc. can cause health concerns to arise.

Lead author of the study, Dale Sandler reiterated that humans are supposed to sleep at night, and this is of much more importance than typically realized. For the purpose of the research, the health and lifestyle data of 44,000 US women who were already a part of an ongoing study regarding breast cancer was analyzed.

These women had medical exams and also filled questionnaires. It was found that women who slept with the TV on at night gained more weight. Compared to those who slept in darkness, they gained 11 pounds over 5 years. Their obesity risk was 30% higher. Sandler said that the same results could be expected to be noticed among men.

Previous researches carried on animals and other smaller studies with humans have showed that prolonged light exposure can lead to weight gain. However, it is not known exactly how this disruption in hormones links to sleep and appetite.

Sleeping with the lights or TV on delays melatonin production. A previous research also suggests that it can lead to depression. Since sleep quality is negatively impacted when the lights are on, it is essential to limit not only lights, but TV and overall screen time before heading to bed so as to ensure a good night’s sleep.

Key Takeaway

Sleep deprivation doesn’t have good in store for health. It can lead to obesity. Previous researches suggest this is because lack of sleep can increase one’s appetite. Now a new research says that sleeping with the lights or TV on can lead to weight gain. This study has been conducted on women, however, the same results can apply to men as well.