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Don't fall asleep with the TV on

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

dont fall asleep with the tv on

Story at-a-glance -

  • Compared with women who had no exposure to artificial light at night, sleeping with a television or light on in the room was associated with a greater risk of gaining about 11 pounds (5 kilograms) or more, a body mass index increase of 10% or more, incident overweight and incident obesity
  • Sleeping with a small nightlight was not associated with weight gain, but sleeping in a room with light coming from outside the room was associated with a modest weight increase
  • Women who slept with a light or television on were 17% more likely to have gained about 11 pounds or more during the study follow-up period
  • Exposure to artificial light at night could interfere with the sleep hormone melatonin, leading to a host of health effects even beyond weight gain

If you have a habit of falling asleep with the TV on, it could be playing a role in your ability to maintain a healthy weight. The link between sleep and obesity is strong, with those who sleep fewer hours having an increased risk of obesity.

However, in recent research published in JAMA Internal Medicine, it wasn’t sleep duration and quality that appeared to influence weight gain and obesity, but rather exposure to artificial light that was the problem.

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