Sleeping with the lights on can make you diabetic and obese

and followed up for seven days.

This is a real-world study (not experimental) that demonstrates how common nighttime light exposure is associated with obesity, high blood pressure (known as hypertension). and diabetes in the elderly. It will be published in the magazine SLEEP.


Corresponding study author Dr Minjee said: “Whether it’s from smartphones, leaving TV overnight or light pollution in a big city, we live among an abundance of sources. Artificial light is always ready to serve 24/24. Kim, assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a physician in Northwestern Medicine.

“Older adults have a higher risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, so we wanted to see if there was a difference in the frequency of these diseases related to nighttime light exposure. .”

The study investigators were surprised to find that less than half of the 552 study participants consistently spent five hours in total darkness each day. The remaining participants were exposed to some light even during the darkest 5-hour periods of their day, often in the midst of nighttime sleep.

Because this was a cross-sectional study, the investigators did not know whether obesity, diabetes, and hypertension caused people to fall asleep with the lights on or whether the light contributed to the development of these conditions. are not.

People with these conditions may be more likely to use the bathroom in the middle of the night (with the lights on) or may have another reason to keep the lights on. Someone with numbness in their legs because of diabetes may want to turn on a night light to reduce the risk of falls.

“It is important for people to avoid or minimize light exposure during sleep,” said study co-senior author Dr. Phyllis Zee, chief of sleep medicine at Feinberg and a physician at Northwestern Medicine said.

Tips to reduce light when sleeping

Zee and colleagues are reviewing an intervention study to test whether restoration of the natural light-dark cycle improves health outcomes such as cognition.

Zee offers tips for reducing light while sleeping:

  • Don’t turn on the light. If you need to turn on a light (which older people may want for safety), set it to a dim light closer to the floor.
  • Color is important. Amber or red/orange light is less stimulating to the brain. Do not use white or blue light and keep it away from sleepers.
  • Shades or eye masks are good if you can’t control the outdoor light. Move your bed so outdoor light doesn’t hit your face.

Who are the study participants?

Study participants were initially enrolled in the Chicago Heart Association in Industry (CHA) Detection Project, a public health program and an epidemiological study conducted in 1967-1973. to identify adults at high risk for heart disease in workplaces throughout the Chicago area. The study included a detailed examination of known risk factors for heart disease.

Nearly 40 years later (2007-2010), Zee and Dr. Martha Davilus, now adjunct professor of preventive medicine at Feinberg, did a separate study (“Chicago Healthy Aging Study (CHAS)”” ) with 1,395 survivors of the original CHA study. agreed to participate. They underwent another detailed examination of blood pressure, weight, height, cholesterol, glucose and other known risk factors for heart disease.

In addition, they wore activity recorders on their non-dominant wrists for seven days and filled out daily sleep diaries. More than half of the optical devices used are capable of measuring light, which is the basis of this new study.

Other Northwest authors include senior co-authors Kathryn Reid, Thanh-Huyen Vu, Matthew Maas, Rosemary Braun, and Michael Wolf.

Source: Eurekalert

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