Light exposure during sleep in older adults linked to high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity

Jun 29, 2022

New Delhi, June 29 (ANI): A new study has found that people who were exposed to any amount of light while sleeping at night were significantly more likely to be obese, have high blood pressure and diabetes compared to adults who were not exposed to any light during the night. Light exposure was measured with a wrist-worn device and tracked over seven days. This is a real-world (not experimental) study demonstrating the prevalence of any light exposure at night being linked to higher obesity, high blood pressure (known as hypertension) and diabetes among older adults. “Whether it be from one's smartphone, leaving a TV on overnight or light pollution in a big city, we live among an abundant number amount of artificial sources of light that are available 24 hours of a day,” said study corresponding author Dr. Minjee Kim, assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a Northwestern Medicine physician. “Older adults already are at higher risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, so we wanted to see if there was a difference in frequencies of these diseases related to light exposure at night.”Study investigators were surprised to find that less than half of the 552 study participants consistently had a five-hour period of complete darkness per day.