Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Turn lights off when sleeping at night to avoid obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure

Exposure to light during sleep increases the risk of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure for older adults. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams shares what sleep experts say about the health hazards even small amounts of light may cause.

Night lights
Keeping lights on in the bedroom while you sleep may increase your risk of disease.
We are part of The Trust Project.

ROCHESTER, Minn. — If you use a night light or leave a light on in the hallway outside your bedroom while you sleep, you might want to think about turning them off. A study from Northwestern University shows that exposure to light at night increases an older person's risk of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Researchers say any type of light is linked to higher disease rates.

“Whether it be from one’s smartphone, leaving a TV on overnight or light pollution in a big city, we live among an abundant number amount of artificial sources of light that are available 24 hours of a day,” said Dr. Minjee Kim, assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Older adults already are at higher risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, so we wanted to see if there was a difference in frequencies of these diseases related to light exposure at night.”

The researchers have tips on how to keep your sleep space dark, including:

  1. Turn all lights off. If you need to have a light on for safety, make sure it's dim and closer to the floor.
  2. Pay attention to color. Choose lights that are less stimulating, such as amber or red/orange. Don’t use white or blue light.
  3. Block it out. Blackout shades or eye masks may help to block out outside light. Move your bed to keep your face away from an outside source you can't control.

The study is published in the journal SLEEP.

ADVERTISEMENT

Health_Fusion-1400x1400.jpg

Follow the  Health Fusion podcast on  Apple,   Spotify and  Google podcasts. For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at  vwilliams@newsmd.com. Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

MORE HEALTH FUSION:
Do you overindulge on Thanksgiving? A lot of people do. It can be hard to resist recipes you only get during the holidays. But if you chow down on foods and drinks that are high in salt, fat or caffeine, you may be at risk of "holiday heart." Viv Williams has details from Mayo Clinic cardiologists in this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion."

Opinion by Viv Williams
Viv Williams hosts the NewsMD podcast and column, "Health Fusion." She is an Emmy (and other) award-winning health and medical reporter whose stories have run on TV, digital and newspaper outlets nationwide. Viv is passionate about boosting people's health and happiness by helping them access credible, reliable and research-based health information from top experts. She regularly interviews experts and patients from leading medical institutions, such as Mayo Clinic.
What to read next
The 15,000 union nurses at 15 hospitals in Minnesota and Wisconsin will vote Nov. 30. The vote could give MNA leaders the power to authorize another strike, following a three-day strike held in September, as they bargain for contracts.
In 2013, a proposed merger between Sanford and Fairview derailed after Minnesota officials expressed concerns.