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  • Shift work, sleep deprivation and exposure to bright light at night increase fatness

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Friday, December 10, 2010 6:25 am Email this article
    "The amount of sleep has declined by 1.5 hours over the past century, accompanied by an important increase in obesity," notes a recent paper.

    "Shift work, sleep deprivation and exposure to bright light at night increase the prevalence of adiposity," they continue. Frequent Snacking, Reduction in Sleep, Exposure to Bright Lights

    Frequent snacking, reduction in sleep, exposure to bright lights at night cause physiological changes

    “Correct timing of the endogenous circadian clock enables organisms to predict and anticipate daily environmental changes, and temporally adjust behavioral and physiological functions accordingly.

    “In humans, current societal habits, including high snacking frequency, a reduction in the time spent sleeping and increased exposure to bright light during the night, act on the brain to induce a loss of ‘feeling’ for internal and external rhythms.

    “Consequently, the environment sensed by the brain has become metabolically flattened and arrhythmic.

    “Among the well-known consequences of a disrupted circadian function are altered metabolism and even life span, which may be all adversely affected when the circadian time-keeping system is altered.”


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    Comment: Lack of sleep probably affects people more than they realize

    I’ve said this previously, but I will say it again.

    I think that lack of sleep and exposure to bright lights at night such as being on the computer later or watching big, beautiful flatscreen TV, which makes getting to sleep difficult, has more of an effect on our appetite and health than we realize.

    It took me about 10 years to realize this it takes me 3 hours to get to sleep after I get off the computer.

    I used to be on the computer late at times until 11:30 PM, but then could not fall asleep until 2:30 PM regardless of how tired I was.

    I now avoid being on the computer after about 8 PM so that it does not keep me awake.

    I also turn the brightness down on my plasma TV at night, and even wear sunglasses while watching TV for at least the last 30 minutes before I go to bed to limit the amount of bright light entering my eyes so that I can fall asleep quicker when I go to bed.


    Garaulet M, Ordovas J, Madrid J. The chronobiology, etiology and pathophysiology of obesity. Int J Obes (Lond). 2010 Jun 22, published on-line.


    Dr M Garaulet
    Faculty of Biology, Department of Physiology
    University of Murcia, Faculty of Biology
    Campus of Espinardo
    Murcia 30100, Spain
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Articles on the same subject can be found here:


    On Dec 23, 2010 at 6:34 pm Roberta wrote:

    . . . . .

    I use a sleep mask to block light which I find improves my rest.

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