Charging gadgets in your bedroom could mean you put on weight, claim scientists

Having your smartphone or tablet on charge at night could be interrupting your sleep and consequently leading to weight gain.

Scientists have claimed that the blue light emitted by the displays on modern-day gadgets harms the production of melatonin – a hormone which encourages the body to get a better quality of sleep. When our sleep is disjointed or disturbed, our metabolism slows in order to conserve energy.

Previous studies have shown how even a street light outside a bedroom window can also disrupt the release of melatonin and therefore effect how we burn energy efficiently.

Dr Simon Kyle, the lead researcher in the study at the University of Granada in Spain said, “A lot of people are interested in this at the moment given that as a 24-hour society, sleep deprivation is increasing and we are exposing ourselves to artificial light at night. Scientists are interested in how an alteration in the sleep-wake pattern may be involved in the onset of diabetes and obesity, and if when you improve the timing of sleep, you can also have a positive effect on conditions like diabetes and obesity.

He added, “There is a lot of research going on that is showing we are meant to be asleep at night when darkness falls and melatonin rises, and then when the sun rises the melatonin release is blocked by the sun. This light-dark cycle is good for our bodies to predict changes in the environment.”

Earlier this year, scientists from universities such as Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard warned the general public that a lack of decent sleep can cause severe health problems such as cancer, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity due to the upset that it causes to the body clock and metabolism.

Dr Kyle added, “There is strong basic science and data to show the association between sleep interference and disease.”

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