A recent study of nearly 850 Flemish adults found that using a mobile phone after the lights were turned off was associated with worse sleep quality, insomnia, and symptoms of fatigue. But despite the growing body of evidence that proves blasting our eyes with light from our phones right before sleep is a bad idea, the majority of us still do it.
While tiredness is a consequence that most of us put up with thanks to our good friend caffeine, there is one side effect that might just stop us in our backlit tracks: gaining weight.
Dr Dan Siegel, clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, told Business Insider: “People are exposing their eyes to a stream of photons from these objects that basically tells your brain, ‘stay awake’. That light beam tells your brain ‘don’t secrete melatonin yet, it’s not time for sleep’.”
According to Dr Siegel, if we get less than seven hours of sleep a night, our glial cells stop being able to clean up the toxins our brain cells produce. In over 95% of people, these toxins simply remain in the body. Thanks to these toxins, our attention begins faltering, and our memory becomes impaired, along with the ability to think through problems.
While most of these are pretty obvious side effects of a lack of sleep, Dr Siegel listed one effect that might come as a bit of a shock for some: weight gain. Head over to the next page to see Dr Siegel explaining exactly why lack of sleep may be making you fat.
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