Charging your phone in your bedroom could make you fat

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Researchers have issued warnings that charging your mobile phone or your tablet in your bedroom could make you gain weight.

They state that the human body requires complete darkness to produce the correct levels of a hormone which regulates the conversion of food and drink into energy.

This implies that ambient light from street lamps could cause a disruption in the release of melatonin and prevent us from burning food effectively.

Scientists have however stated that short-wavelength blue light, such as that emitted from some devices during the charging process, causes the most disruption to sleep patterns and metabolism.

They said that although the light is not sufficient to light up a room, it still causes disruption to our bodies.

A team based at the University of Granada in Spain have discovered that melatonin injections helped treat diabetes and obesity in rats by regulating their systems.
Experts based at Manchester University are investigating how sleep patterns may aid patients who already suffer from diabetes, a disease which is often linked to obesity.

A sleep researcher at the university, Dr Simon Kyle, said many people are interested in this type of research as we have become a 24-hour society where sleep deprivation is on the increase and people are being exposed to artificial light at night.

He said they have an interest in how an adjustment in the sleep-wake pattern may play a role in the onset of diabetes and obesity and if the timing of sleep is improved, positive changes can occur.

He stated that there is a lot of research which indicates that we are meant to sleep at night when it is dark and melatonin increases. When the sun rises, it blocks melatonin. He said this light-dark cycle offers benefits to our bodies to predict the changes in our environment.

This means that if you start sleeping less hours or you are exposed to light late into the night, the melatonin secretion in your body is interrupted and this could result in adjustments in metabolism.

He added that blue light has shown to be the most damaging because it keeps the mind busy.

Scientists based at Harvard, Cambridge and Oxford Universities earlier this year warned that a lack of sleep could result in severe health issues, such as heart disease, cancer, obesity and type-2 diabetes, due to the disruption in the body clock. They stated that this was being boosted by the use of blue-light-emitting devices late at night.

Dr Kyle has offered advice to turn off tablets, desktop computers and smartphones at least a couple of hours prior to going to bed to reduce the exposure to artificial light. He said there is an association between disease and sleep interruption.

Image Credit: m01229

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