You spend all day eating salad, low carbs, and do a fair amount of exercise, but never seem to get any thinner? It could be that you're getting too much light. New research seems to show too much light in the bedroom may make you pile on weight.
Scientists believe that light at night, including street light creeping through the curtains and the glow of smartphones, is causing us to pile on the pounds.
Experiments on mice, showed that animals exposed to light 24-hours a day for five weeks put on 50 per cent more fat than creatures who kept more normal hours. This was despite all the animals eating the same amount of food and doing the same amount of exercise. Tests showed that constant light disrupted their body clock and slowed down a vital calorie-burning process.
A previous study by the same team fromLeidenUniversityshowed that animals kept in constant light put on weight more quickly than creatures fed fatty food.
Researcher Patrick Rensen,LeidenUniversityMedicalCenter, said he believes his findings have relevance to people who are battling the bulge.
Writing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, he said that even something as simple as checking a mobile phone for messages on waking during the night could stop the body clock from resetting properly in the morning and lead to weight gain.
With exposure to light at night linked to a host of other ills, from cancer to depression, experts say we need to learn to love the dark.
The importance of sleep has finally entered mainstream thinking and practice; however the importance of dark is still greatly under-appreciated.
"Come join us, become one of the skinny people of the night" said Dracula when asked for comment.