Is Light Exposure During Sleep Causing Obesity?

Does a bright smartphone screen often wake you up in the middle of the night? A new study finds any kind of light exposure during sleep can significantly increase the risk of developing obesity, diabetes, or high blood pressure — especially in older adults.

While examining over 500 older men and women between 63 and 84, researchers from Northwestern University found that harmful light exposure can come from all sorts of places, including room lights left on for safety, bedrooms without blackout shades, and digital devices lighting up at odd hours.

The team tracked these individuals for seven days, measuring their exposure to light using wrist-worn devices under real-world conditions. They found that older adults who did not get a five-hour period of complete darkness each day were much more prone to develop these conditions than those getting uninterrupted sleep.

Excerpted from Study Finds

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