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The Light Might Make You Heavy

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the switch-to-zero-calorie-light dept.

Medicine 138

Rambo Tribble writes: "Writing in the American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers have found that sleeping with high ambient light levels may contribute to obesity (abstract). In a survey of 113,000 women, a high correlation was found between higher bedroom light levels and increased propensity to be overweight or obese. Excess light in the sleeping environment has long been known to adversely affect melatonin production and circadian rhythms. It is posited that such an interference with the 'body clock' may be behind these results. Although there is not yet enough evidence to call this a smoking gun, as one researcher put it, 'Overall this study points to the importance of darkness.'"

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Just look at Anakin (5, Funny)

physicsphairy (720718) | about 6 months ago | (#47129851)

Anakin Skywalker spent a lot of time with the dark side and look how much body mass he was able to lose.

An Idea (-1)

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Re:Just look at Anakin (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 6 months ago | (#47131449)

Most of his weight loss was essentially instantaneous, when his legs were cut off.

Re:Just look at Anakin (2)

aevan (903814) | about 6 months ago | (#47131663)

So the argument could be made it wasn't the darkside, but high-intensity light therapy that caused the sudden weight loss?

Or maybe, you know... (-1, Flamebait)

sideslash (1865434) | about 6 months ago | (#47129855)

... the lard butts sleep all day? Just saying. That's why you need double blind studies (no pun intended), correlation/causation, and all that.

Re:Or maybe, you know... (4, Interesting)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 6 months ago | (#47129899)

The most obvious correlation to me would be......If you don't get a good night's sleep, then you are less likely to exercise during the day.

Re:Or maybe, you know... (-1, Flamebait)

geekmux (1040042) | about 6 months ago | (#47129955)

The most obvious correlation to me would be......If you don't get a good night's sleep, then you are less likely to exercise during the day.

Yes, because a lack of sleep is the #1 reason why people don't exercise and eat right.

Give me a break.

I wouldn't be surprised if the "extra ambient light" in the bedroom is coming from the microwave they hauled in there.

Next up, the new diet craze for lazy people. Blackout blinds.

Re:Or maybe, you know... (3, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 months ago | (#47129979)

Next up, the new diet craze for lazy people. Blackout blinds.

It doesn't work, but I do get a better sleep. ;-)

Re:Or maybe, you know... (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 6 months ago | (#47130225)

Yes, because a lack of sleep is the #1 reason why people don't exercise and eat right.

Give me a break.

Yeah, because it has to be the #1 reason for there to be a correlation.

Give ME a break.

Re:Or maybe, you know... (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 6 months ago | (#47130631)

Alright, alright [cargocollective.com] !

Re:Or maybe, you know... (5, Insightful)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 6 months ago | (#47130313)

Yes, because a lack of sleep is the #1 reason why people don't exercise and eat right.

Give me a break.

Maybe it's not the #1 reason, but why couldn't it be a significant reason that we might consider?

People who don't sleep enough or don't get enough "restful" sleep often have all sorts of problems -- increased stress, difficulty in learning and retaining information, impaired judgment -- and it's correlated with all sorts of things from depression to various chronic health problems. If the lack of sleep itself can't lead to obesity, surely some set of these factors (some of which are known to correlate with obesity, like stress and depression) can contribute to it.

Next up, the new diet craze for lazy people. Blackout blinds.

I get you don't think this is useful, but why do you have to make stupid remarks? Obviously obesity rates have been rising significantly in the past few decades. There are a number of fairly obvious likely causes for this trend, but there may be many minor ones that have changed in recent decades that could be contributing -- like, for example, the amount of "light pollution" these days, which probably contributes to ambient light in bedrooms (along with decreased numbers of people in rural areas where light pollution is scarce), coupled with increased tendencies to leave various electronic devices on all the time.

Who cares if it's the "#1 reason why people don't exercise and eat right"? If it's in the top 20, it can probably be helpful to know it, and for some people, it could actually be leading to other health problems, including obesity.

I know there's this common assumption that diet and exercise is only about willpower, but the reality of life is that there are all sorts of psychological and physical factors which can make it easier or harder to pursue healthy habits. And being exhausted a lot of the time is not generally conducive to such habits. Obviously for many people blackout blinds are not the magic ticket to a thin body -- but combined with some other things, better rest could make it easier for some people to live in a more healthy manner.

Re:Or maybe, you know... (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 6 months ago | (#47130509)

Also many heavy people have un-diagnosed sleep apnea, which makes it even harder/impossible to get proper restful sleep.

Re:Or maybe, you know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47131055)

less likely

It may not be the #1 reason, but it can be a reason for a lot of people and a good correlation between sleep and obesity as well by OP.

However, this is like the recent diet soda makes you lose weight study: Sure, but there's a lot more factors most of which are more important to losing weight.

Re:Or maybe, you know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47130151)

Oh, the world owes me a living.
Deedle deedle didle diddle doh
Oh, the world owes me a living.
Deedle deedle didle diddle doh

If I worked hard all day I might
Sleep better when in bed at night
I sleep all day, so that's all right
Deedle deedle didle diddle doh

Re:Or maybe, you know... (1)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | about 6 months ago | (#47130269)

Blue LEDs correlate with evil.

Re:Or maybe, you know... (1)

asjk (569258) | about 6 months ago | (#47132043)

From the abstract,

adjustment for potential confounders such as sleep duration, alcohol intake, physical activity, and current smoking

Re:Or maybe, you know... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47129935)

or you cant sleep because theres a 1000 lumen bulb right outside your window, so wake up and eat in the middle of the night.

Then the HOA outlaws dark curtains to block it

There should be laws preventing all this outdoor lighting, it really pisses me off and hurts my quality of life

Re:Or maybe, you know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47130171)

or you cant sleep because theres a 1000 lumen bulb right outside your window, so wake up and eat in the middle of the night.

Then the HOA outlaws dark curtains to block it

There should be laws preventing all this outdoor lighting, it really pisses me off and hurts my quality of life

Double layer the curtains; light on the outside and dark on the inside. Like, duh.

Re: Or maybe, you know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47130273)

I agree, and am just glad that I have something else to blame my obesity on.

Re:Or maybe, you know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47130719)

There should be laws preventing fucking subwoofers and modified mufflers.

Re:Or maybe, you know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47130907)

Hey, what happens in the bedroom between a consenting adult and a tailpipe is no one's business.

Or maybe, you know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47129951)

Double-blind? Not possible.

With a double-blind student both the patient and the researcher don't know who is getting the test treatment and who is getting a placebo.

Most people are able to tell if the lights are on in their bedroom.

Re:Or maybe, you know... (1)

sideslash (1865434) | about 6 months ago | (#47130447)

Nonsense, there are lots of ways of countering the snarky objections of me and a few other folks around here by creatively applying "double blind" techniques. In the case of the test subjects, the light could just be turned on when ambient sensors detected that they were asleep (pulse and breathing monitors). Have a computer randomize subjects to light regimens, so the researchers can't consciously or unconsciously assign the perky people one place and the laggers another. See? Double blind.

Re:Or maybe, you know... (1)

cream wobbly (1102689) | about 6 months ago | (#47131245)

It was pretty clear to me after I RTFA that the causation is reversed: overweight people sleep easier, and "normal" weight people need darkness. It's a shorter causative route:

Lower metabolic rate results in obesity and makes a darker sleeping environment unnecessary.

Higher metabolic rate precludes obesity and requires a darker sleeping environment, which causes people to go out and buy thicker curtains.

So if you want to save cash, eat lard.

No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47131295)

You cannot sleep all day - unless you have been up all night - which is the point of this study and quite a few others, I might add [webmd.com] .

You know, if I looked closely at your life, I would - without a doubt - find self defeating things that YOU do.

I don't care if you are Amish - that would be hard, but I am sure I would find something.

If we would stop bitching at one another and just say, "Dude! When I went to bed at 10 and stopped staying up all night playing video games, my life improved!" - I think things would improve.

And ask to give feedback because just giving it sounds patronizing.

The meaninglessness of correlation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47129907)

Or is it just that obese and other fat people are too lazy to turn it off? (the more physical effort that is required the more likely you are too leave it on)

Re:The meaninglessness of correlation (1)

RevSpaminator (1419557) | about 6 months ago | (#47130093)

At best, correlation should lead to further investigation, not rushing to conclusions.

Purely anecdotaly ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 months ago | (#47129913)

A darkened room doesn't seem to help much either. :-P

the obesity smoking gun (2)

teslabox (2790587) | about 6 months ago | (#47129925)

Sixty-or-so years ago the Vegetable Oil industry told us that butter was giving us heart attacks, that we should avoid as much fat as possible, and that if we had to use fat in our cooking, polyunsaturated vegetable oil was far superior to the saturated fats.

Recently an article was published in one of those medical journals, waving the white flag of surrender in the war against butter, but it's going to take a generation or two before the product liability lawsuits against Big Food will get anywhere.

http://www.swindledandpimped.o... [swindledandpimped.org] - The seed oil scam is the swindle...

Re:the obesity smoking gun (-1, Redundant)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 6 months ago | (#47130089)

butter, vegetable oil, margarine, whatever man. Fat people eat lots of it, thin people eat little. Stop trying to blame your obesity on evil corporate conspiracies and just face the fact if you stopped stuffing your piehole with food so much, you would lose weight.

Re:the obesity smoking gun (0)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 6 months ago | (#47130163)

Citation for your 'common sense' which is actually not true?

People have different bodies, shocker!, different metabolisms, and even different preferences for fuels. Truth is stranger than what your feeble intellect has come up with.

Re:the obesity smoking gun (1, Interesting)

geekmux (1040042) | about 6 months ago | (#47130277)

Citation for your 'common sense' which is actually not true?

People have different bodies, shocker!, different metabolisms, and even different preferences for fuels. Truth is stranger than what your feeble intellect has come up with.

It's simple math. Consume less than you burn. That applies for 95% of the population to manage weight properly, so let's drop the excuses already pointing to metabolism and fuel.

On top of that, proper diet is only HALF of the issue, which most ignorant people feel it is the only thing to focus on.

The other half of the problem is an utter refusal to exercise. Our bodies are machines. They need to be worked properly to maintain proper function. Food is merely the fuel for that activity.

And that has been proven time and time again, and does follow "common sense", so again, knock it off with the excuses already.

Re:the obesity smoking gun (2)

teslabox (2790587) | about 6 months ago | (#47130533)

It's simple math. Consume less than you burn.

This idea is simple, pervasive, and wrong. The body's metabolism responds dynamically to the amount of fuel available, and exhortations to "eat less" are not at all helpful to someone who is trying to lose weight.

Our bodies are machines.

Machines require proper fuel, and proper lubricants. Vegetable oil is NOT a proper fuel for warm-blooded bodies. Polyunsaturated vegetable oils suppress the metabolism, shunt carbohydrates to fat production, are not easily burned for energy, and distort the body's hunger signals.

Using vegetable oil in the human machine is like substituting a random grade of mineral oil for the transmission fluid the manufacturer designed your car to use. Your transmission might work for a while, but I wouldn't expect it to last for long.

Re:the obesity smoking gun (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about 6 months ago | (#47131173)

It's simple math. Consume less than you burn.

This idea is simple, pervasive, and wrong. The body's metabolism responds dynamically to the amount of fuel available, and exhortations to "eat less" are not at all helpful to someone who is trying to lose weight.

Our bodies are machines.

Machines require proper fuel, and proper lubricants. Vegetable oil is NOT a proper fuel for warm-blooded bodies. Polyunsaturated vegetable oils suppress the metabolism, shunt carbohydrates to fat production, are not easily burned for energy, and distort the body's hunger signals.

Using vegetable oil in the human machine is like substituting a random grade of mineral oil for the transmission fluid the manufacturer designed your car to use. Your transmission might work for a while, but I wouldn't expect it to last for long.

I did clarify in my original post that a proper diet is key. I think we both agree that eating shit all day will result in you feeling like shit, and your body acting like shit. I found I could fuel myself with quite a few more calories when you use the right fuel, but that was also combined with good exercise that helps burn it off too. Again, it's both working in unison that creates maximum efficiency.

Re:the obesity smoking gun (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 6 months ago | (#47130643)

No, YOU, and other ignorant people, BELIEVE it is simple math.

BTW, science isn't 'excuses'.

I do whole heartedly agree with the body is a machine and needs to be used. Movement is a key part of the 'design' of the human body, it aids in everything from circulation, breathing, digestion, waste elimination, breakdown of toxins, etc...

If you have any amount of competent control over your body, i.e., able to consciously control autonomous systems, you'll also know that different body configurations require different fuels and burn them at different rates.

Re:the obesity smoking gun (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about 6 months ago | (#47131125)

No, YOU, and other ignorant people, BELIEVE it is simple math.

BTW, science isn't 'excuses'.

I do whole heartedly agree with the body is a machine and needs to be used. Movement is a key part of the 'design' of the human body, it aids in everything from circulation, breathing, digestion, waste elimination, breakdown of toxins, etc...

If you have any amount of competent control over your body, i.e., able to consciously control autonomous systems, you'll also know that different body configurations require different fuels and burn them at different rates.

Yes, and I stand by my argument that 95% of the population thinks that exercise is optional, along with eating right, so the variables don't really matter when you haven't even made it past the first step in fixing ANY machine, regardless of shape or size. Blood pressure, cholesterol, sugar levels, all of these are factors, and for 95% of the population, they can be controlled with good diet.

The body reacts massively to change, which translates to efficiency. Watch what happens to overall efficiency when you feed the machine RIGHT. Then watch what happens when you burn that GOOD fuel to help maintain the machine.

Start packing on some muscle, and you'll watch your metabolism go through the roof. It's like adding a turbocharger to an engine.

Re:the obesity smoking gun (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 6 months ago | (#47131419)

You're one of those gym rats aren't you?

Much easier than 'packing on muscle' is eating the right combinations of food at the right time. Activating the triple-burner in chinese-speak.

What's funny about a lot of people that go to the gym and 'exercise' is that they don't realize that most of the benefits come from using your body properly, not the actual exercises.

If you can do the whole primary series in ashtanga yoga, you can call it a day.

Then again, it wouldn't be very USian to work smarter not harder right? Might makes right after all.

Re:the obesity smoking gun (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about 6 months ago | (#47131627)

You're one of those gym rats aren't you?

Much easier than 'packing on muscle' is eating the right combinations of food at the right time. Activating the triple-burner in chinese-speak.

What's funny about a lot of people that go to the gym and 'exercise' is that they don't realize that most of the benefits come from using your body properly, not the actual exercises.

If you can do the whole primary series in ashtanga yoga, you can call it a day.

Then again, it wouldn't be very USian to work smarter not harder right? Might makes right after all.

How ironic, as my gym is more often a Yoga studio than not.

Yes, I learned to work smarter while beating my body up with rigorous exercise years ago. Then I found certain exercises (like Yoga) are just as efficient while not beating my body up as bad. Running became cycling and so on.

You tend to become wise to this as your body starts reminding you that engines only last so long, and parts wear out. If you don't accomodate for this, unending pain can be the result, which can be as bad mentally as it is physically.

Re:the obesity smoking gun (1)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 6 months ago | (#47130673)

On top of that, proper diet is only HALF of the issue, which most ignorant people feel it is the only thing to focus on.

The other half of the problem is an utter refusal to exercise. Our bodies are machines. They need to be worked properly to maintain proper function. Food is merely the fuel for that activity.

While I absolutely agree that proper exercise is important to maintain health, I also definitely disagree that exercise contributes to anything near "HALF of the issue" for weight loss.

Exercising vigorously on a daily basis will burn, for most people, a few hundred calories at best, maybe 10-20% of their calorie intake if they're lucky. Running a mile burns roughly 100 calories: you could undo that with one decent sized cookie, or one extra tablespoon of mayonnaise. If you eat a large dessert most days, that could add up to 300-800 extra calories per day: how many obese people are really going to run 3-8 miles EVERY DAY just to make up for the dessert (forget about other bad snacking choices, etc.)?

The vast majority of calories most people burn everyday is in basic body function, like maintaining your body temperature, digestion, beating your heart, brain function, etc. If you eat significantly in excess of those basic needs, you will gain weight -- unless you become a super athlete and run marathons most days.

And that has been proven time and time again, and does follow "common sense", so again, knock it off with the excuses already.

It's perhaps common sense that a machine needs to be active to maintain its function. It's not necessarily "common sense" that running the machine harder will cause it to get smaller.

Your body will get smaller with proper exercise AND attention to diet. But between these two things, except for super athletes, it's probably 80-90% about the eating, and only 10-20% about the exercise for weight maintenance.

Re:the obesity smoking gun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47131333)

Except that the body doesn't use everything you put into it. The digestive tract is a tube - your body only uses what it can grab from the food in the time it takes for that food to get out. If you were to eat only vegetable oil, I can guarantee you that pretty soon you will start to lose weight real fast, despite the number of calories you're taking in.

Re:the obesity smoking gun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47131445)

Sigh. This old argument again?
So, four years ago I changed all my eating habits, reduced all carbs to > 20 grams per day. I lost 53 kilos. Not once during the year it took me to loose the weight did I excersice. All foods I ate was documented in a food diary. According to the statistics, the calory-theory is plain wrong - at least when it comes to me.
The math: 1 kilogram of fat (coconutoil) = 8840 kcal. I lost 53 kilograms = 468520 kcal, that I "ate" from my own fat. On top of that, I ate foot through my mouth for 1260592 kcal. A total of 1729112 kcal. My estimated calory need for the period was 1449646 kcal. So I should "only" have lost (1449646 kcal Ã" 1260592 kcal) / 8840 kcal (1 kg of fat) = 21.37 kg during this period. Yet, I lost more than double. An to top this, I also eat of my own bodyfat. (1729112 kcal - 1449646 kcal) / 8840 (1 kg fat) = +31,61 kg.
This makes no sence if the theroy of calories in calories out == weight loss. The human metabolic system is much more complex than you might think. A good read is dietdoctor.com or research LCHF.

Re:the obesity smoking gun (1)

pnutjam (523990) | about 6 months ago | (#47130681)

I'll just leave this here, not for you, for Spy Handler.

http://www.primermagazine.com/... [primermagazine.com]

Re:the obesity smoking gun (2)

war4peace (1628283) | about 6 months ago | (#47130203)

Bullshit. This is not valid for everyone. I guzzle fat stuff all day long. Butter, lard, fat milk, fat cheese, fat meat, fat fish, you name it. Doesn't affect my weight. 141 pounds and 6 feet tall, and on top of that I don't even exercise a lot. I walk about 2 miles a day on average, because I don't own a car, but I also sit in front of a computer 12 hours a day.

Same for my wife, but she walks even less on average, and throughout both her pregnancies she gained 20 pounds tops.

Our "problem" is that we can't gain weight. Well, not really something that preoccupies us, just sayin'. Could be that we eat organic food as much as possible, we avoid food additives like the plague, don't know. Fact of the matter is I was stable at 141 pounds (+/-2) for the last 20 years.

Re:the obesity smoking gun (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 6 months ago | (#47130543)

Just a guess, your kids are going to be very skinny too. =D clearly a product of superior willpower amiright?

(Or, a pair of highly insulin sensitive people?)

Re:the obesity smoking gun (1)

war4peace (1628283) | about 6 months ago | (#47131297)

No diabetes in the family.
My father was skinny. Her parents are regular weight (mother) and overweight (father). My mother was a bit overweight.

Re:the obesity smoking gun (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 6 months ago | (#47131169)

Could be that we eat organic food as much as possible, we avoid food additives like the plague, don't know. Fact of the matter is I was stable at 141 pounds (+/-2) for the last 20 years.

This.

Empty calories, additives that fool your body into thinking you're getting enough protein when you're not, and stuffing things with too many carbs and nutritionally deficient ingredients means you end up eating too much, and the cycle perpetuates. Do a raw cleans, and switch to a paleo diet. You'll get more energy and stop gaining weight.

Re:the obesity smoking gun (1)

war4peace (1628283) | about 6 months ago | (#47131441)

I forgot to add that we let our bodies tell us what they need. During the last couple months, we both craved radish and green salad, our daily intake went off the scale for a while.

Our son (he's 29 months) doesn't know what chocolate is, nor candy, chips, sweets of any kind except for homemade stuff or organic products such as whole grain biscuits with no sugar. But he eats craploads of fresh fruits and vegetables. Interestingly enough, he developed a healthy lifestyle from a food perspective. If he wants strawberries, he gets them and doesn't eat all of them, e.g. we put 10 in a bowl and he eats 6, then he's done. He lets his body guide him and doesn't overeat.

Not saying that we're better than most, really. I think it's all about early education and how you grow to trust your needs if you get them right while you're very young. I call this "body calibration". Stuff your kid with candy, coke and industrially-produced cookies with all sorts of additives, his body will calibrate improperly and his eating habits would be imbalanced for the rest of his life.

Re:the obesity smoking gun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47132051)

we let our bodies tell us what they need. During the last couple months, we both craved radish and green salad, our daily intake went off the scale for a while.

Then by that measure most people's bodies "tell them" that they need chocolate cake. For whatever reason, apparently your body has little interest in storing excess energy. If it did it would be telling you to ingest some sugar so that it could trigger the fat cells to start slurping up.

Normal bodies think it's a good idea to have some extra fat available for a rainy day. They don't crave radishes. Normal bodies don't go out of their way to stay lean. They go out of their way to store energy. For most people, listening to what their body "tells them" is not a good idea.

Re:the obesity smoking gun (1)

teslabox (2790587) | about 6 months ago | (#47130215)

You bring up a good point - I do not have a weight problem, maybe because I was clued into the seed oil swindle a dozen years ago. I will put up some pictures.

My mom used vegetable oil in her cooking when I was growing up, but she also used butter and sour cream. We were upper-middle class. Poor people use vegetable oil because it's cheap, and because they don't know any better. My website - about how we are being Swindled and Pimped - is an attempt to correct this state of mass-ignorance.

Re:the obesity smoking gun (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 6 months ago | (#47130829)

The real problem is that we treat dieting as a witch hunt instead of an incredibly complex process dependent on more factors than even a dedicated personal dietitian and personal trainer can fully address. The 'war against X' is a big problem, but the solution isn't to hunt another witch, it's to change our paradigm about diets.

Conclusion Suspect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47129963)

It could be that people who are heavier have more light so that they reduce the risk of falling and injury.
It could be that people who are worriers which causes them to eat more as a result and then want to protect from injury.
I can come up with about 3 more, which are less compelling/harder to prove.

Interesting nonetheless.

fr1st p5ot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47129965)

M'You sse, even

I knew it! It's those damn blue LEDs! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47129985)

No, the router does not need to pump 20mA through five blue ultrabrights. I do not need a blinking blue LED to tell me that the monitor is in standby mode. Dim those motherfuckers or, even better, give me an option to turn them off completely.

Re:I knew it! It's those damn blue LEDs! (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 months ago | (#47130071)

No, the router does not need to pump 20mA through five blue ultrabrights. I do not need a blinking blue LED to tell me that the monitor is in standby mode. Dim those motherfuckers or, even better, give me an option to turn them off completely.

As it happens, research strongly suggests that blue light has the greatest impact (intensity and exposure being otherwise equal) of the visible colors. All of them are annoying; but the fad for blue probably makes them even more effective at sleep disruption.

Re:I knew it! It's those damn blue LEDs! (1)

orgelspieler (865795) | about 6 months ago | (#47130875)

I know for damn sure I can't sleep well when there's a blue or white LED on within eye-shot. Reds and Ambers are no problem, though. Don't know that I've noticed one way or the other for green.

Re:I knew it! It's those damn blue LEDs! (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 6 months ago | (#47131103)

I know this is anecdotal, but I'm the same way. A red LED isn't that big an issue, but blue or white? Something has to go completely over it for me to get any sleep, and even then, the secondary scatter is still notable.

Greens can be an issue, especially above a certain brightness.

Re:I knew it! It's those damn blue LEDs! (4, Funny)

pslytely psycho (1699190) | about 6 months ago | (#47130267)

"give me an option to turn them off completely."

Black nail polish.
Or black electrical tape if you don't want to permanently black them out.

Re:I knew it! It's those damn blue LEDs! (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 6 months ago | (#47131355)

Actually black electrical tape can be too transparent (of course YMMV as there are different kind of tapes around the world). Some tougher stuff like hockey stick tape or duct tape will do the trick, although they might look a bit ugly. I have my whole router enclosed in a cardboard box.

Re:I knew it! It's those damn blue LEDs! (2)

mythosaz (572040) | about 6 months ago | (#47130281)

Black electrical tape.
Black nail polish.

Both work great.

Re:I knew it! It's those damn blue LEDs! (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 6 months ago | (#47131385)

No, the router does not need to pump 20mA through five blue ultrabrights. I do not need a blinking blue LED to tell me that the monitor is in standby mode. Dim those motherfuckers or, even better, give me an option to turn them off completely.

Many suffer of this issue. The home router manufacturers should include a simple front panel toggle switch to turn the LEDs on and off. It would certainly provide extra value for many people and increase their interest to buy the product.

Re:I knew it! It's those damn blue LEDs! (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 6 months ago | (#47131499)

If you move out of your parents' basement, you can have your bed and your router in separate rooms.

Re:I knew it! It's those damn blue LEDs! (1)

dwpro (520418) | about 6 months ago | (#47132089)

Agreed. I use layers of scotch tape and black permanant marker to dim them, works _ok_ but a damned dimmer would be great.

Poverty and city living. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 6 months ago | (#47129989)

Now there is an other possibility.
People who are in poverty tend to live in Cities, and often get the bedrooms which are directly under the light.
Now people in poverty often do not buy healthy food, and because they are stressed from poverty, my not try to eat well.

Re:Poverty and city living. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47130077)

People who are in poverty tend to live in Cities

You have not seen some of rural America I take it?

now people in poverty often do not buy healthy food,

Set your budget to 50 dollars. Go to the store, say walmart as they are usually the lowest cost store. Now buy only healthy food. Enough for about a week as you do not have a lot of money to get back as public transportation costs money. Also remember you can not carry a lot. Maybe 3 bags. My point is cheap food is typically high carb food as sugar/corn is wildly cheaper than other foods.

You will find it wealth brings extra things. Such as the ability to carry more than 3 bags. Buy food that you couldnt necessarily afford before... Pay outright for things where others have to borrow a bit to make ends meet.

Now I am not saying you can not eat healthy and be cheap. But it is extraordinarily harder and something you will need to work on every day.

With ~100k in the study they may be onto something. But is it a side effect or a direct correlation? We will need to wait for the next 2-3 studies to repeat the tests before we get excited.

Re:Poverty and city living. (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 6 months ago | (#47130195)

$50? What are you, rich??

$20/week is enough to buy fresh food. With a well stocked larder of cheap staples, grains, rice, beans, etc... sometimes I spend $10.

Of course, absolutely NO prepared crap.

Re:Poverty and city living. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47130525)

$50? What are you, rich??
very, but hardly my point...

$20/week is enough to buy fresh food.
For 1 person. Oh and remember the closest store is about 15 miles down the road. As you can not afford to live in the city.

For a family of 4 you can get 500 a month in food stamps if you are under a particular income level.

With a well stocked larder of cheap staples, grains, rice, beans,

You are well prepared and thought it thru. Most people have 0 clue what they are buying and look strictly at the convenience of pre-preped food. Presold to them on the TV. You are also eating a mostly vegan diet. Most people do not want that. They could eat better if they did, but they will not change.

I knew by putting a price point I would draw someone like you out. You seem to think that because you have an excellent plan it works for everyone. I know *many* families who live hand to mouth, and used to be there myself. I teach them how to do better. But rarely can they take my advice. Because it is not always good practical advice. Say... you just pulled a double shift at below min wage (not enough tips tonight) at the local diner and your kids are hungry. Do you spend the next 40 mins cooking something or pop something in the microwave and crash out on the couch and try to get 6-7 hours sleep before the next shift? Oh and you have no time to pre-prep it because its saturday and you have to trek the 2 kids across town to the ex who wont pick them up and have to be at work by 4 and you are doing double shifts for the next week. Rinse and repeat for 18-20 years.

I am glad you found a way to eat cheap. There are plenty of ways to do so. But at the big box stores like walmart (where the majority of 'poor' people shop) you do not get the high quality you need. They want to sell you cheap preprocessed box dinners. I know walmart is the place for 'the poor' to shop. I had to look no further than when congress cut food stamps a few months ago. Walmart had one of the first declines in revenue in 20 years. I shopped there every week when I had little money too.

You know the saying time is money? You trade time for money and money for time. People do the same by buying preprocessed food. They trade a bit of money to get time. When you are poor you have less of both. Time is usually the more important one. You almost always end up overpaying to buy time especially when you are poor as you over pay when you can least afford it but need it the most.

Re:Poverty and city living. (2)

pnutjam (523990) | about 6 months ago | (#47130735)

Cheese, meat, fish, nuts, fruit, vegetables
these are the healthy foods people are talking about. These are expensive and difficult to keep fresh or carry around if you have to walk or take the bus.

strawman argument is made of straw..

Re:Poverty and city living. (1)

rhsanborn (773855) | about 6 months ago | (#47130263)

Note also that healthy food from scratch takes more time to prepare, which is also a luxury that isn't available to the single mom taking the bus to 2 and 3 jobs.

Stuffing your face makes you heavy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47130013)

This debate reminds me of the gun control debate - people find all kinds of reasons to avoid the real issue. If you remove guns there is no more shootings. Same goes here - there is all kinds of research why people are fat. You do not need much research - food intake/exercise combination makes you fat or thin. Genetic also plays some role but not as much as exercise. Instead of getting off the couch and walking a mile, people looking for some magic bullet. Unless we admit what the problem is there will be no solution. And of course it is easier to blame all kinds of external causes than to admit that one eats too much and moves too little.

Re:Stuffing your face makes you heavy (2)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 6 months ago | (#47130055)

Yeah. Things seemed simple to me too when I didn't know anything.

Questionable at best (0, Troll)

DaMattster (977781) | about 6 months ago | (#47130087)

The causes of obesity are a multitude of factors. This article makes an overly simplistic suggestion that sleeping in a darker room will magically help one shed weight. As someone that has lost over a hundred pounds, I'll tell you this: it is making good food choices, counting calories, and getting physical activity. Certainly adequate rest is helpful but there is no credible study to suggest that someone that is doing these things yet doesn't get enough sleep is obese.

Re:Questionable at best (1)

joelgrimes (130046) | about 6 months ago | (#47130251)

The causes of obesity are a multitude of factors. This article makes an overly simplistic suggestion that sleeping in a darker room will magically help one shed weight

claim of correlation != claim of causation. The article and the researcher were pretty careful on that point.

"But there is not sufficient evidence to know if making your room darker would make any difference to your weight. "There might be other explanations for the association, but the findings are intriguing enough to warrant further scientific investigation."

Re:Questionable at best (5, Informative)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 6 months ago | (#47130511)

This article makes an overly simplistic suggestion that sleeping in a darker room will magically help one shed weight.

[Citation needed]

I read TFA and the the abstract to the actual study, and at no point do I see a "suggestion that sleeping in a darker room will magically help one shed weight."

To the contrary, from TFA: "[The researchers] caution there is not enough evidence to advise people to buy thicker curtains or turn off lights." AND "[T]here is not sufficient evidence to know if making your room darker would make any difference to your weight." AND " Dr Matthew Lam, from the charity, commented: 'It's too early to suggest that sleeping in the dark will help prevent obesity, a known risk factor for breast cancer, but the association is certainly interesting.' "

About the closest TFA comes to what you said is: "Prof Derk-Jan Dijk, from the Surrey Sleep Centre, said there would be no harm in trying to make bedrooms darker."

In other words, TFA includes at least THREE explicit disclaimers saying the exact opposite of what you said it suggested, and one suggestion that "Well, it probably wouldn't hurt..."

As someone that has lost over a hundred pounds, I'll tell you this: it is making good food choices, counting calories, and getting physical activity.

Of course. But if you are better rested, for example, there's less chance that fatigue will live to poor judgment, stress, depression, etc., all of which are known to contribute to obesity. Sure, ultimately what you say is true, but that doesn't mean that changing some other environmental factor might not make it easier to make good food choices, count calories, exercise, etc.

Certainly adequate rest is helpful but there is no credible study to suggest that someone that is doing these things yet doesn't get enough sleep is obese.

Well, if you actually read the linked abstract, you'd see there actually ARE animal studies suggesting precisely this in the second sentence: "In animal studies, there is convincing evidence that light exposure causes weight gain, even when calorie intake and physical activity are held constant."

So, this study is a human study suggesting something that has already been found in animal studies. As the researchers point out, they controlled for a lot of confounding factors, but there might be others -- nevertheless, as they say, it seems like enough evidence to justify further research.

As you say, "The causes of obesity are a multitude of factors" -- why do you insist on arguing so strenuously against the possibility that this might be one factor, even if a minor one?

Not heavy but... (1)

XPeter (1429763) | about 6 months ago | (#47130159)

Not heavy...just "Big Boned"

What's that old saw? (0)

Chas (5144) | about 6 months ago | (#47130169)

Correlation == Causation?

Re:What's that old saw? (1)

asylumx (881307) | about 6 months ago | (#47130317)

That's why the headline says "might" and the summary says "may" -- because they correlate strongly, but the causal link isn't proven.

Re:What's that old saw? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47130365)

I'm sure no one involved in designing or running the study has ever heard that phrase before. Your bringing it up shows both their stupidity and that you are clearly intellectually superior. Congratulations to you and the other slashdotters who made similar contributions. We are humbled before you.

Re:What's that old saw? (1)

Chas (5144) | about 6 months ago | (#47130931)

We are humbled before you.

As well you should be!

=_

Depending on your chemistry (1)

Andover Chick (1859494) | about 6 months ago | (#47130179)

Depends on your chemistry. I have the opposite problem. Sleeping in a dark room causes me to sleep too deeply/long, thereby triggering bouts of nighttime depression. Instead, I keep light curtains and play ambient music so I'm on the edge of lighter sleep. Occasionally I pull a dark pillow over my head when trying to get to sleep. But I'm athletic so I don't have obesity issues to begin with.

Re:Depending on your chemistry (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 6 months ago | (#47130505)

What? Does the music play through your whole sleep?

See food diet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47130241)

Well, its hard to eat in bed without being able to see your food.

I'm boned... (1)

the_skywise (189793) | about 6 months ago | (#47130247)

(big boned that is... ha! I kill me!)

How much is too much light?!

I've got a green LED clock and a TV with a red LED that's on when it's off. Once my eyes adjust I can see most of my bedroom FINE... especially when the moon is out and shining through my blinds...

So... the moon makes me fat?!

Or is this along the same kind of logic that because it weighs as much as a duck it's a witch...

Too much energy and little exercise. (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 6 months ago | (#47130283)

In the past 10 years there's been an obesity increase in the major Chinese cities. Industrialization of sugar and high calorie foods combined with a sedentary employment will do that.

eh, not so sure (4, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | about 6 months ago | (#47130319)

This seems like a confusion of symptom and actual cause, when the root issue may be simply a lack of good sleep (for whatever reason).

Our eyelids are not opaque, they definitely allow ambient light levels through. This would imply that perhaps sleeping with high ambient light, it's just harder to get good solid rest.
I guess you could test this by checking brainwaves of people sleeping in the dark, and sleeping with bright lights on, and seeing if there's a difference in the 'depth' of sleep they reach.

Wait, something doesn't make sense (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47130353)

Fat white women usually sleep with black men?

Pro tip (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 6 months ago | (#47130547)

Change your curtains and venetian blinds to roller blinds.

Re:Pro tip (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about 6 months ago | (#47130639)

Honeycombs with a sunblocker side to it.

Good insulation, and light only leaks around the edges.

Bullshit (1)

holophrastic (221104) | about 6 months ago | (#47130617)

...There's just no way that this holds up. Watch and see.

Read that book... (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about 6 months ago | (#47130627)

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Or... (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 6 months ago | (#47130697)

Perhaps larger people are more likely to sleep with a large TV on in their bedroom?

Opposite for me (1)

Daetrin (576516) | about 6 months ago | (#47130771)

Two years ago i slept with the lights on all the time and was 175 lbs. (79 kg or 12.5 stones for you metric types ;)

Then i got a new girlfriend, who prefers to sleep with the lights off. Since then i've gained 25 lbs.

Yeah yeah, correlation is not causation, and anecdote is not evidence. And in this case the difference in weight is presumably due to going out to dinner with her more and going out to exercise by myself less. (I'm working on trying to change that now, but progress is slow =P)

But in my individual case either having the lights on was not helping me at all, or if i'd been sleeping with the lights off at my previous level of food intake and activity i would have ended up looking like a stick.

Re:Opposite for me (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 6 months ago | (#47131477)

Why did you sleep with the lights on? Were you just like "aw shucks, can't bother to turn them off", or was it more comfortable that way?

Re:Opposite for me (1)

Daetrin (576516) | about 6 months ago | (#47131613)

Because i generally have no problem going to sleep with the lights on, but often have a tough time getting up in the morning. Having the lights on when i wake up in the morning helps with the staying awake process... a little. (I think i might also have originally gotten into the habit during i time when i was single and lonely. Having the lights on seemed more... cheery somehow. That's obviously not a problem at this point however.)

Given how quickly and deeply i can fall asleep under various circumstances, that i can get up to deal with things like cats throwing up and then go back to sleep right away, can shift my sleeping schedule forwards or backwards with ease, and get by on a couple hours of sleep if i want or sleep for 8+ hours without interruption if i let myself, my girlfriend is convinced that i have some kind of sleeping superpower :)

Discovery solves a related mystery (3, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | about 6 months ago | (#47130995)

This breakthrough finding also explains why photography adds 10 pounds [petapixel.com] to its subjects. Flash photography, probably even more.

The fridge's light does (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47131437)

Last week, I spent an hour eating left-over fried chicken right from the fridge and the light made me fat. It's true.

What the women didn't reveal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47131515)

The lights are on to see the snacks they fall asleep eating.

Not to put too fine a point on it... (1)

Chelloveck (14643) | about 6 months ago | (#47131833)

Until an actual mechanism is shown for light causing obesity, I'm not giving up my blue canary in the outlet by the light switch!

Previously: What's Causing the Rise In Obesity? (1)

MSG (12810) | about 6 months ago | (#47131839)

That might help explain why there is an ongoing cross-species obesity epidemic.

http://science-beta.slashdot.o... [slashdot.org]

Literally (1)

onproton (3434437) | about 6 months ago | (#47131977)

Interestingly, photons hitting you can make you weigh (an itsy-bitsy bit) more due to "solar pressure" https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
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