This Surprising Sleep Habit Could Be Sabotaging Your Weight Loss
As a reader of this magazine, you’re probably familiar with the term “sleep hygiene,” meaning the habits and environmental factors that determine whether you get a good night’s sleep or end up browsing Twitter at 4 a.m.
You know caffeine and alcohol play their part (sorry), and maybe you learned not to watch BBC dramas in bed. But there’s another crucial factor you might be overlooking — and it’s hurting more than just your sleep.
Research from Northwestern University has shown that even moderate exposure to light during sleep — the flash of a passing car or the glow of an LED alarm clock — can prevent your body from shutting down properly. This negatively impacts your heart health and blood sugar levels, affecting your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and even obesity.
Researchers have found evidence that sleeping in a moderately lit room increases your heart rate – which, even if you snore happily, activates your sympathetic nervous system. At night, your parasympathetic should lead the show, allowing for good recovery, but exposure to light compromises this process.
Additionally, people who slept in a brighter room were more likely to show signs of insulin resistance the next morning, meaning their bodies had trouble using blood glucose for energy. , leading to an increase in blood sugar. This adds credence to research suggesting a link between poor sleep (even in those who aren’t fully aware of it) and weight gain.
Fortunately, there are simple solutions: invest in blackout blinds and keep your devices out of sight, or put on an eye mask for a little first-class cabin chic. Rest assured, it makes a difference.
Night light isn’t the only thing that can mess with your blood sugar…
Down in one
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