Study links evening blue light exposure to increased hunger

June 2, 2014, American Academy of Sleep Medicine

A new study suggests that blue-enriched light exposure immediately before and during the evening meal may increase hunger and alter metabolism.

Results show that blue-enriched , compared with dim light exposure, was associated with an increase in that began 15 minutes after light onset and was still present almost two hours after the meal. Blue light exposure also decreased sleepiness and resulted in higher measures of insulin resistance.

"It was very interesting to observe that a single three-hour exposure to blue-enriched light in the evening acutely impacted hunger and ," said study co-author Ivy Cheung, a doctoral candidate in the Interdepartmental Neuroscience program at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. "These results are important because they suggest that manipulating environmental light exposure for humans may represent a novel approach of influencing food intake patterns and metabolism."

The research abstract was published recently in an online supplement of the journal Sleep and will be presented Tuesday, June 3, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at SLEEP 2014, the 28th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC.

The study group comprised 10 healthy adults with regular and eating schedules who received identical carbohydrate-rich isocaloric meals. They completed a four-day protocol under dim light conditions, which involved exposure to less than 20 lux during 16 hours awake and less than 3 lux during eight hours of sleep. On day three they were exposed to three hours of 260 lux, blue-enriched light starting 10.5 hours after waking up, and the effects were compared with exposure on day two.

Cheung noted that more research is needed to determine the mechanisms of action involved in the relationship between light exposure, hunger and metabolism.

Explore further: Study links workplace daylight exposure to sleep, activity and quality of life

More information: "Evening Blue-Enriched Light Exposure Increases Hunger and Alters Metabolism in Normal Weight Adults," Sleep, 2014.

Related Stories

Study links workplace daylight exposure to sleep, activity and quality of life

June 3, 2013
A new study demonstrates a strong relationship between workplace daylight exposure and office workers' sleep, activity and quality of life.

People exposed to earlier sunlight are leaner than those who get afternoon light

April 2, 2014
A surprising new strategy for managing your weight? Bright morning light. A new Northwestern Medicine study reports the timing, intensity and duration of your light exposure during the day is linked to your weight—the first ...

Blue light may fight fatigue around the clock

February 3, 2014
Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) have found that exposure to short wavelength, or blue light, during the biological day directly and immediately improves alertness and performance. These findings are published ...

Short-wavelength light increases beneficial stress hormone response in sleep-restricted adolescents

October 25, 2012
Adolescents can be chronically sleep deprived because of their inability to fall asleep early in combination with fixed wakeup times on school days. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), almost 70 percent of ...

Sleep apnea plus dim light at night increases depression, anxiety in mice

July 16, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—New research suggests the estimated 12 million Americans who have obstructive sleep apnea should take better care to sleep in a very dark room. Scientists at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center ...

Recommended for you

Low-fat or low-carb? It's a draw, study finds

February 20, 2018
New evidence from a study at the Stanford University School of Medicine might dismay those who have chosen sides in the low-fat versus low-carb diet debate.

Tobacco kills, no matter how it's smoked: study

February 20, 2018
(HealthDay)—Smokers who think cigars or pipes are somehow safer than cigarettes may want to think again, new research indicates.

Just a few minutes of light intensity exercise linked to lower death risk in older men

February 19, 2018
Clocking up just a few minutes at a time of any level of physical activity, including of light intensity, is linked to a lower risk of death in older men, suggests research published online in the British Journal of Sports ...

Women who clean at home or work face increased lung function decline

February 16, 2018
Women who work as cleaners or regularly use cleaning sprays or other cleaning products at home appear to experience a greater decline in lung function over time than women who do not clean, according to new research published ...

Calcium and Vitamin D supplements are not associated with risk of heart attacks

February 16, 2018
New research from the University of Southampton has found no association between the use of calcium or vitamin D supplementation and cardiovascular events such as heart attacks.

Study shows options to decrease risk of motor vehicle crashes for adolescent drivers

February 16, 2018
Adolescents who receive comprehensive and challenging on-road driving assessments prior to taking the license test might be protected from future motor vehicle crashes, according to a University of Alabama at Birmingham study ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.