Charging Your Phone While You Sleep Could Make You Fat
Why Charging Your Phone or Tablet in Your Bedroom Could Make You Fat
In an addition to the growing list of things that can make you fat, researchers now believe that charging electronic devices in the bedroom may contribute to weight gain. When your phone or tablet is low on power, it’s tempting and seemingly harmless to leave it charging so it’s ready as soon as you need it in the morning. However, charging it in another room achieves the same goal without risking your health.
Why It Happens
Once upon a time, it was just the electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) from electronics that science suspected could cause metabolic harm. Now the light emitted from them may be compounding the problem. Many common devices like cell phones and tablets display an image while charging. This emits light in the blue, or cool, end of the spectrum, just like sunlight. New research has shown that even slight exposure to cool-spectrum light during sleep, like the light from charging screens, disturbs the production of a key hormone in the body.
Melatonin is the body’s sleep hormone. It regulates your circadian rhythm, telling you when to go to bed and when to wake up, and it also influences your sleep quality. Because sleep is critical to numerous important biological processes, disrupting the balance of melatonin wrecks your sleep patterns. Without it, you’re apt to stay up too late and sleep poorly. When this happens, your body is unable to metabolize energy properly and is more like to store fat.
What You Can Do About It
Fortunately, this issue is much more preventable than some of the things thought to contribute to obesity. Here are some things you can do to reduce your risk.
Keep Gadgets Out of the Bedroom
If at all possible, charge your electronics in another room of your house. Even if they don’t use a charging screen, if the charger itself has a light, it’s still enough to disturb melatonin production. For that matter, keep television out of your bedroom. If you tend fall asleep while it’s still on, both the sound and light may be having a significant impact on your sleep.
Cover Up Those Windows
Most people live in areas where street lights are the norm. Unfortunately, some of these can also interfere with melatonin production. You can’t just ask the city to turn them off, so consider covering your windows at night. Heavy curtains or a sheet of thick black plastic are ideal for this purpose.
Red Light Special
If you’re fond of reading in bed, there’s a handy trick you can use to get the benefits of light without the melatonin disturbance. Simply purchase a red, yellow or orange light bulb and use it as your reading light. These warm-spectrum colors allow you to see while preventing the disregulation of melatonin.
Avoid Electronics Before Bed
For the best results, many experts recommend avoiding cool-spectrum light for at least an hour before bed. This means no television, no computer and no playing games on your phone or tablet. Instead, consider reading a book or taking a candle-lit bath.
Although there are many things that can disrupt healthy sleep patterns, there aren’t many you can do anything about. Take this opportunity to eliminate one of those influences by following the tips above and enjoy feeling and looking better in your daily life.