October 10, 2014 8:15 am
Updated: October 10, 2014 10:21 am

Cell phone sleep distractions may lead to weight gain


Watch above: Electronic devices in bedrooms overnight may lead to weight gain

SASKATOON – It’s usually the first thing people check when they wake up and last thing they look at before they go to bed; cell and smart phones are around day and night.

A recent study suggests having the phone plugged in beside you when you’re sleeping can cause weight gain.

The blue light from the phone in the middle of the night might seem harmless but it can do more than affect your beauty sleep.

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“We’re a 24 hour society, so when we’re looking at our phones, we’re going to check our social media accounts, we’re going to check that text and most of the times we’re going to start thinking about a text or an email and it’s going to be really hard to get back into our sleep,” said Amanda Hudye, president of SleepWell Consulting.

Eight in 10 people go to bed with their phones right beside them. When our bodies are exposed to the blue light triggered by notifications or texts, it inhibits melatonin levels.

“When we go to bed and when we’re sleeping we want those melatonin levels to be as high as possible to ensure we get a consolidated restorative sleep,” said Hudye.

And when we don’t get enough of the sleep hormone which helps the body’s metabolism, an overseas study suggests it can lead to weight gain.

“When we’re up and operating the next day and not feeling our best there’s actually two hormones called Ghrelin and Leptin, these hormones tells us when we’re hungry and when it’s time to eat but more importantly when it’s time to stop eating,” explained Hudye.

Sleep deprivation causes those hormones to stop working. When feeling sluggish, we tend to grab the wrong foods.

It’s recommended to limit screen time to two hours before bed and to make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary, blacking it out.

“The adage before was ‘I’ll sleep when I die’ and now sleep is starting to take a forefront and it’s so important for one of the pillars of a very healthy life style,” said Hudye.

Tablets and laptops aren’t bright enough to light up a room but can also affect sleep and slow down metabolism; early sun rises can also play a factor.

A team at the University of Granada in Spain discovered that injections of melatonin in rats helped fight obesity and diabetes.

The ‘Do Not Disturb’ function on your phone is one option to have no interruptions while you sleep through the night.

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