Body

Your Bedroom Could Be Making You Fat

A new study finds that too much light where you sleep could cause you to gain weight

Color us surprised: Apparently sleeping in a room that gets "too much light" has been linked to obesity in women. Researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research in London polled more than 113,000 women, and found that women who were overweight also tended to have rooms that were much lighter than their healthy-weighted counterparts.

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While researchers are loathe to make a direct causation between weight and the amount of light in one's bedroom, they do believe that the amount of light in our bedrooms may impact our body clocks. Our body clock can affect how much we sleep, when we rise, and our appetite cycles. "Overall this study points to the importance of darkness," said Professor Derk-Jan Dijk from the Surrey Sleep Centre. "People should assess their bedroom and see how easy it would be to make it darker."

Scientists performed a similar study on mice, and saw that even when mice were exposed to low levels of light at night, it created a shift in the time of their meals. And that shift, said study co-author Laura Fonken, ph.D., of Ohio State University, caused the mice to gain weight, "even though they were not eating any more calories," she said.

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One other reason to be concerned about how your internal body clock is affecting your weight? Cancer. Studies have found a strong link between obesity and breast cancer. Like you needed an excuse to invest in some good window blinds. [BBC]

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