Late-night text messaging with your significant other or scrolling through social media feeds have become a part of your routine, thanks to the smartphone. And although we have all come across information that suggests that looking at the bright screen in the dark can affect our sleep patterns, there are more ways this light exposure affects the body. One of them is by making you fat!
A research conducted by Northwestern University in Chicago exposed participants to three hours of blue-enriched light, the kind that typically comes from a smartphone before they went to sleep and right after waking up. It was found that the exposure in both cases altered the metabolic function of the participants by increasing their insulin resistance, which further increases the risk of developingType 2 diabetes.
They also found that staring at your screen before bed is especially bad as evening exposure led to high glucose levels, or blood sugar. All this excess glucose can lead to increased body fat. Maybe spending those long hours on Facebook is not a good idea, especially for your waistline!
Another study conducted at Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York showed that people who spent a long time staring at devices with a backlit LED display had a dip in melatonin levels. Melatonin is popularly known as the darkness hormone and preps you for sleep. When the eyes are exposed to bright light, the circadian rhythm or body clock is disturbed.
The lesser number of sleeping hours may also be responsible for you adding on those kilos! A University of Colorado study found that people who sleep just five hours a night (because they may be glued to their phone screen) consume more calories as there is more time to eat! Sleep loss causes the levels of ghrelin hormone to rise, which makes one feel hungry.
Here are some tips to ensure that your smartphone doesn’t become responsible for your expanding waistline:
- Limit the amount of time you spend staring at the phone screen before bed. A couple of minutes should be fine.
- Adjust the settings on your devices by either dimming or tweaking the contrast so that less light reaches the eye.
- Try a ‘digital detox’ by avoiding all nighttime activity on your phone? You can do it the next day, can’t you?
Clearly, sleeping more will help you lose more – weight, that is!
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