The effects of blue light exposure are being explored by many research teams all over the world. Recently, results from a small study suggest that exposure to blue light before and during dinner may affect how much you eat.
Blue light exposure is already known to negatively impact sleep as it disrupts the body’s natural production of the sleep hormone melatonin. As technology keeps us constantly connected in today’s society, blue light is playing a huge role in our daily routine without us really considering the effects.
10 healthy adult volunteers were first exposed to dim lighting for two days in individual bedrooms inside of a hospital. On the third day, the volunteers began being exposed to blue light from a light box during seated activities while they were doing homework or reading before their dinner time.
Study co-author and doctoral candidate in the Interdepartmental Neuroscience program at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, Ivy Cheung told The Huffington Post that the volunteers reported their hunger being stronger after being exposed to blue light, compared to dim light exposure. The hunger increased 15 minutes of blue light exposure and hunger levels stayed high for almost 2 hours after dinner.
Cheung also stressed the significance of the results in her released statement, “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.”
Limiting or completely eliminating your exposure to blue light has been shown to improve sleep quality, and this study provides an additional reason to put away your cell phones before dinner time. Try staying away from electronics before your evening meal for a week and let us know if you notice any effects!