Could Lights In Your Bedroom Cause Weight Gain?

June 11, 2019

I am notorious for leaving my TV on all night in the bedroom. For a time, I was setting the sleep timer so it would shut off about an hour or so after I went down. But since having the baby, the light from the TV acts as a nightlight of sorts just in case I need to tend to her overnight. 

But after reading the new research about artificial light in your bedroom and how it can cause weight gain, I think I will be going back to using the sleep timer. And while I am doing that I am going to find a dark place to hide my phone so the light cannot affect me. 

The study was published in the JAMA Internal medicine and found that "artificial bedroom light may disturb stress hormones and affect female metabolism in ways that contribute to weight gain."

"Turning off the light while sleeping may be a useful tool for reducing a possibility of weight gain and becoming overweight or obese," said lead author Dr. Yong-Moon Mark Park. The light can work to suppress melatonin, the sleep hormone and throw off our circadian rhythm. 

We know from past studies that using our phones, tablets, or watching TV while we are trying to go to bed actually stimulates the brain making falling asleep even more difficult. 

It's a vicious cycle. The light disturbs our ability to get a quality nights sleep. When we do not get enough sleep it affects our mood and overall health. If we are tired from a lack of sleep, we are also less likely to go to the gym or be active and that is where the weight gain can happen too. 

Read more about the findings of the research below.