Scrolling your phone before bed could kill you, or at least make you fat
Put it down and read a book
Staring at your phone before going to sleep could be making you fat.
In fact, the addictive routine of using your mobile before bed might even kill you.
All-nighters fuelled by coffee can take their toll on you, but did you ever consider your bed-time Facebook scroll might be having the same effect?
Swedish researchers have found back-lit devices like phones, iPads and laptops act in the same way as a shot of coffee. The blue light suppresses melatonin levels, thereby increasing alertness and making getting to sleep, and staying asleep, significantly more difficult.
Just one night of sleep deprivation might lead to getting fat and feeling less sharp, potentially even leading to cancer.
Scientists said it could actually alter your genetic makeup, decreasing alertness overall, causing weight gain, interfering with concentration, mechanisms controlling blood sugar levels, increasing risks of developing particular cancers and alterations in brain activity.
Disjointed and deprived sleep has been found to impact individuals’ actions the next day, according to research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.
Findings showed that those who read an iPad before bed, compared to a printed book, took longer to fall asleep, secreted less melatonin and experienced less REM sleep – vital from brain development and restoration.
A researcher at Upsalla University says “previous research has shown that our metabolism is negatively impacted by sleep loss”.
Disrupted biological clocks can effect appetitie, body temperature and even brain activity, and so it might not be those late night kebabs causing you to pile on the pounds but actually your latest Facebook status you keep checking the likes on.
The Swedish study took samples of body tissue from the superficial fat on the stomach and inside of the thigh – key components in regulating metabolism and blood sugar levels.
The results showed the regulation and activity of body clock genes was altered after just one night of sleep loss.
Researchers at Harvard University say that looking at a lit screen just before bed can set back our body clock by an hour and a half, changing the times we get hungry, tired and most alert.
Researcher Dr. Cedernaes said the ability for the methylation of these genes to be altered so quickly is interesting and “could occur for these metabolically important clock genes” found in tissue samples.
It is not yet clear how permanent these changes are, as Dr. Cedernaes added: “It could be that these changes are reset after one or several nights of good sleep.”
Changes in sleeping patterns and quality of sleep due to late night scrolls may lead to changes in the “genome of your tissues that can affect your metabolism for longer periods” he said, while making you more lethargic in your daily activities.