(FOX 2) - If you have a habit of falling asleep in front of the television - take note. If you're trying to stay healthy and watching your weight, you might want to turn it off before you fall asleep.
Here's the problem, exposure to artificial light at night maybe bad for your health. And, to be more specific, for women, light at night may be tied to weight gain.
"Essentially, they found that there was a pretty impressive relationship to that exposure to artificial light at night, and increasing, sort of, degree of that exposure, to increasing body mass index," says Cleveland Clinic Dr. Reena Mehra.
The study looks at data on more than 43,000 women between the ages of 35 and 74.
Researchers studied different forms of light exposure at night, from television light, to night lights, to light shining in through the window. Exposure to artificial light, especially television light, was associated with becoming overweight or even obese.
Dr. Mehra says previous research shows getting less sleep has been related to weight gain and obesity. However, after taking these factors into consideration, there was still a relationship between the light and obesity.
Dr. Mehra advises people to avoid watching TV at night, and to keep their rooms dark. She says this study provides evidence as to why it's a good idea to follow these recommendations.
"Really try to reduce, or minimize, the time that you are spending on electronic devices, on watching TV, making sure that the bedroom is dark when you're sleeping, so, environmentally, just doing all that you can to minimize that artificial light exposure at night."
She says other studies show artificial light exposure does have an effect on our circadian rhythms, which then sets us up for metabolic disorders.
Complete results of the study can be found in JAMA Internal Medicine.