Falling Asleep With The TV On Could Be Making You Gain Weight

Alfie PowellAlfie Powell in News, World
Published 12.06.19

Falling asleep with the TV on could be making you put on weight.

I’m not one to fall asleep in silence. I’m scared of my thoughts and the longer I’m distracted from them, the better.

I rarely have the TV on when I’m drifting off, but there will usually be some form of podcast or YouTube video going on. I’ve recently gotten into The Weekly Planet’s Caravan of Garbage; that’s doing a great job of keeping me from thinking.


So I don’t know if that counts, since by the looks of things, it’s lights that affect your weight gain and not just the sounds.

sleep light gain weight

Also, it only seems to affect women, so I’m definitely safe… although I’m actively trying to put on weight.

Essentially, women exposed to artificial light at bed time are more likely to gain weight. 44,000 women were studied for five years, with the ladies who left lights on at night gaining up to 11lbs (5kg).


The study was conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, North Carolina, and followed women aged between 35 and 74, without a history of cancer or cardiovascular disease, weren’t pregnant, and didn’t sleep in the day or work shifts.

light tv gain weigh

The woman reported to the researchers how much artificial light they were exposed to, from the likes of phones and TVs and the results were pretty damning – depending on how you feel about gaining weight.

If you want to be 22% more likely to put on weight, then be a woman who sleeps with the TV or the lights on. Why? Hormones that make you hungry are released when you’re tired, and getting worse sleep due to lights and noise being in the room would lead to said tiredness.


Researchers also found that exposure to artificial light in the evening could lead to things such as eating badly, sedentary lifestyle or stress, and socioeconomic disadvantage.

More studies are needed to back the evidence shown in this one, but generally scientists fully believe the results shown.

sleep with tv on gain weight

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Professor Malcolm von Schantz, from the University of Surrey, said:

We know that light in the late evening will delay our body clocks. We know from experimental studies in people that light at night affects our metabolism in ways that are consistent with increased risk of metabolic syndrome.


What is novel with this paper is that it is a longitudinal study comparing the weight of the same individuals at baseline and more than five years later.

These new findings won’t change the advice to maintain good sleep hygiene, and avoid light and electronic distractions in the bedroom, but they add further strength to the case for this advice.”

Turn that bloody box off then, eh?!

If you want…

Images via Getty