Subscribe to Onlymyhealth Newsletter
  • I have read the Privacy Policy and the Terms and Conditions. I provide my consent for my data to be processed for the purposes as described and receive communications for service related information.

Is artificial light a cause of obesity

Is artificial light a cause of obesity
Quick Bites
  • Artificial light disrupts body’s biological rhythm.
  • Artificial light at night wreaks havoc on metabolism and cause weight gain.
  • Sleep cycles are disturbed causing stress and increase in weight due to unnatural light.
  • Bright lights at night may cause your body to store more fat.

Following the natural day and light pattern can help you combat obesity. This is common knowledge that being exposed to bright lights at night has its own set of ill effects on our body. Unnatural sources of light at night causes our natural biological clock to go haywire, affecting overall health, and there is growing evidence that obesity can be one of them. Read on to find out how.




Bright lights at night mess up with your metabolism

In the modern times when the work hours extend well beyond the sunset, the circadian rhythm of our body is disrupted. Melatonin is a hormone which effects metabolism, but it is produced in our bodies only when it’s dark. Keeping the lights on prevent production of melatonin, throwing metabolism of our body in a disarray and causing weight gain.


Artificial light disturbs body’s natural rhythm

Our bodies function around the natural day and night cycle. Using artificial lights tricks our bodies to believe that it’s still day time and production of melatonin is inhibited.A recent study done by scientists in Israel shows that artificial light at night contributes to excessive weight in humans. The researchers believe that this is due to an evolutionary mechanism, which helped our ancestors stay warm through cold nights. BAT or Brown Adipose Tissue is a type of fat in our body which is primarily linked to generation of body heat by burning calories. Shorter days are an indication of winters and hence BAT activation is increased to help body stay warm in cold nights. During longer days, the body is conditioned to store fat for colder months of the yearSo, the length of the day essentially affects the storage of fat in our bodies.


It disrupts sleep cycle

Melatonin also helps control sleep and wake cycles in our body. When the hormone production is hampered due to artificial lights, it may lead to sleeplessness and stress which in turn cause an increase in weight.

In today’s world it is difficult to follow the natural day and night cycle, however you can still follow some steps to limit the effect of artificial lights on your body.

Follow a schedule to help your body adapt

  • Limit your exposure to bright lights before bedtime.
  • Put away all electronic gadgets at least an hour before you plan to sleep.
  • Sleeping late also prompts us to eat late at night which causes weight gain as our metabolism declines at night. Try to have your dinner early.
  • “Early to bed and early to rise” - This age old adage still holds true. Follow the natural cycle of your body to stay fit.


Image Source: Getty

Read more articles on Obesity

Written by
Tanushree Singh
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial teamMar 22, 2016

All possible measures have been taken to ensure accuracy, reliability, timeliness and authenticity of the information; however does not take any liability for the same. Using any information provided by the website is solely at the viewers’ discretion. In case of any medical exigencies/ persistent health issues, we advise you to seek a qualified medical practitioner before putting to use any advice/tips given by our team or any third party in form of answers/comments on the above mentioned website.

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK