Study Of 113,000 Women Shows Correlation In Waistline And Lightness Of Their Bedroom

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3rd June 2014 17:10 - Health

A study conducted by a team at the Institute of Cancer Research, in London, has highlighted a correlation between women’s waistlines and whether or not their bedroom is light enough to see across.

The survey, which was completed by 113,000 women, got participants to rate the lightness of their bedroom on a four-point scale – light enough to read; light enough to see across the room, but not read; light enough to see your hand in front of you, but not across the room and too dark to see your hand or you wear a mask.

The answers were then compared against multiple measures of obesity – Body Mass Index, waist-to-hip ratio and waist circumference, all of which were higher in women with lighter sleeping rooms.

Prof Anthony Swerdlow, from the Institute of Cancer Research, said that, although there is no concrete evidence to believe that making your room darker would alter your weight, there is an “association” between the two factors.

Although the researchers have stressed the results are not significant enough alone to urge people to darken their bedrooms, the somewhat intriguing results have warranted further scientific investigation.

One of the main causes linking lightness to increased waistline is the disruption it causes to the body clock. Light can alter peoples’ mood, physical strength and even the way they process food in a 24-hour cycle.

Prof Derk-Jan Dijk, from the Surrey Sleep Centre, told the BBC there would be no harm in trying to make bedrooms dimmer and that the study emphasises the importance of darkness.

The research which culminated in these results was funded by Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Overall the study is seeking to understand the risk factors for breast cancer, with obesity a known cause to increase the odds of the disease.

Dr Matthew Lam, a member from the charity, told the BBC the lightness and waistline correlation was interesting, but that it is too early to propose darker sleeping conditions could prevent obesity.

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