Medical Falling asleep with TV on linked to depression, obesity and other issues

Q_Goest

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I was walking down the hallway at work and saw a poster. Someone must have put it up outside their office. It said that falling asleep with the TV on reduces the bodies production of melatonin. So I looked it up and found an interesting article on Discovery.com.

http://news.discovery.com/human/depression-night-light-exposure.html

The research, which involved hamsters, adds to growing evidence in both animals and people that exposure to even dim lights at night can lead to all sorts of negative health consequences, including breast cancer, sleep disorders and weight gain.

To explain how light exposure at night might affect the moods of both hamsters and people, the researchers turn to a hormone called melatonin. Our bodies start churning out the hormone as soon as we sense darkness, and its influence is broad. Among other roles, melatonin acts as an antioxidant. It regulates our circadian rhythms. It helps us fall asleep, and it controls the release of other hormones.

With even a small amount of ambient light at night, the body might release the wrong amount of melatonin, or melatonin might get produced at the wrong time, leading to any number of problems, said neurologist Phyllis Zee, director of the Sleep Disorders Program at Northwestern University in Chicago. Studies have already implicated problems in the melatonin system with mood disorders, diabetes and sleep disturbances.

"They're all somehow related," Zee said, "and perhaps melatonin helps explain why there is this very strong relationship between depression, sleep, and circadian rhythms, as well as obesity and metabolism."

"Light affects so many biological systems," she added. "Light is a very powerful drug for the brain."
What do you think? Do you sleep with the TV on? Is there a correlation?
 

lisab

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I lived in Alaska long enough to notice the dramatic effect light has on me, both too much and not enough of it.

That study reports giving hamsters "a series of mood tests". I wonder how accurate that is, and is it a good predictor of depression? (Is it even known if hamsters get depressed?)

I really hate having the TV on when I sleep, btw.
 
yep, it makes a huge difference
 

Evo

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The tv doesn't give off much light. Lights from outside are bright. The full moon is very bright. I like darkness, so I'm all for promoting the use of light blocking window treatments.

I never fall asleep with the tv on, btw.

What about people that have night jobs and have to sleep during the day?
 

Q_Goest

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I don't go to bed with a TV on either. When I was in the USAF, I worked grave shift, midnight to 8 am and slept all day. Did that for a year, then decided I'd had enough of it, but after a while went back to it for another year before getting out. I guess there could have been a reason having to do with body chemistry that I felt the urge to get off grave shift.

One of my relatives always sleeps with the TV on though, and she's both obese and depressed; bipolar even. I kinda wonder if there's a subtle link there.
 

rhody

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Wow, I read this and thought, hmmm, maybe that's why Rhody wife can never seem to get to sleep by simply turning the light off, for as long as I can remember she falls asleep to the TV, whereas I need to have it dark, but with white noise (fan on). She has had all three of the conditions mentioned in the second paragraph of the article as well. That is pretty amazing.

I wish I could do something positive to help her change her habits. It never seems to work. Basically I have stopped trying, taken a "it's your body, your health, you mind". No amount of nagging or encouraging is going to change someone until they are ready to change it for themselves. She is strong willed, set in her ways... (the opposite (dark) side of brain plasticity).

Rhody...
 

Evo

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Wow, I read this and thought, hmmm, maybe that's why Rhody wife can never seem to get to sleep by simply turning the light off, for as long as I can remember she falls asleep to the TV, whereas I need to have it dark, but with white noise (fan on). She has had all three of the conditions mentioned in the second paragraph of the article as well. That is pretty amazing.

I wish I could do something positive to help her change her habits. It never seems to work. Basically I have stopped trying, taken a "it's your body, your health, you mind". No amount of nagging or encouraging is going to change someone until they are ready to change it for themselves. She is strong willed, set in her ways... (the opposite (dark) side of brain plasticity).

Rhody...
I hope she's moved into her own bedroom so that she doesn't affect your sleep.
 

rhody

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I hope she's moved into her own bedroom so that she doesn't affect your sleep.
And vice versa, you hit that right on the head.

Rhody.... bleary eyed (just kidding) :redface:
 

Evo

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And vice versa, you hit that right on the head.

Rhody.... bleary eyed (just kidding) :redface:
Sleeping apart can make other things much better. :wink:
 

fluidistic

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article said:
Our bodies start churning out the hormone as soon as we sense darkness
How do we sense darkness? With eyes and only these? This would mean blind people either always or never "sense darkness" (I guess it would be never but I'm not sure).
 

DaveC426913

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Hm. Mrs. Dave cannot fall asleep without the TV on. I dislike going to sleep with it on and have difficulty doing so, but I also like being married.

She does have some of the symptoms mentioned.

Fortunately, there's the SLEEP button. Also fortunately Mrs. Dave routinely falls asleep in about 30 seconds. (seriously, she regularly goes from talking to me to deep breathing in less than 30 seconds.) I simply set the SLEEP for 15 minutes.
 

Ivan Seeking

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It seems far more likely that sound plays a larger role than does light. Personally, I sleep with my eyes closed [:biggrin:] and my face buried in a pillow. I doubt the light would have much effect.
 

DaveC426913

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It seems far more likely that sound plays a larger role than does light. Personally, I sleep with my eyes closed [:biggrin:] and my face buried in a pillow. I doubt the light would have much effect.
Well, face buried in a pillow yes, but eyes closed is definitely not enough to block out the light from a TV. Frankly, even face buried in a pillow isn't enough unless it's virtually completely blocking.

TV is particularly troublesome because, depending on what channel is on, the movement can create quite a flicker. Even with sound on mute, an hour of Spike TV (demographic: 18-35yo males) versus an hour of History channel (demographic: anyone not an 18-35yo male) is the difference between sleeplessness and sleep.
 

fluidistic

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TV is particularly troublesome because, depending on what channel is on, the movement can create quite a flicker. Even with sound on mute, an hour of Spike TV (demographic: 18-35yo males) versus an hour of History channel (demographic: anyone not an 18-35yo male) is the difference between sleeplessness and sleep.
Not only this. I thing I really HATE about TV's is that even on mute you can still listen a very acute bothering sound. My tv is on right now for my gf and I can listen to this awful/bothering sound. The only way to get rid of that sound is to turn off the tv.
 

DaveC426913

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Not only this. I thing I really HATE about TV's is that even on mute you can still listen a very acute bothering sound. My tv is on right now for my gf and I can listen to this awful/bothering sound. The only way to get rid of that sound is to turn off the tv.
True dat.

I think it's 15,750Hz: 525 lines*30fps scan rate.
 
Well, face buried in a pillow yes, but eyes closed is definitely not enough to block out the light from a TV. Frankly, even face buried in a pillow isn't enough unless it's virtually completely blocking.

TV is particularly troublesome because, depending on what channel is on, the movement can create quite a flicker. Even with sound on mute, an hour of Spike TV (demographic: 18-35yo males) versus an hour of History channel (demographic: anyone not an 18-35yo male) is the difference between sleeplessness and sleep.
no, the body can sense light on the skin, too, not just through the eyes. this stuff really does mess up peoples' body clocks, and lots of computer work late at night is just as bad.
 

Ryan_m_b

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no, the body can sense light on the skin, too, not just through the eyes. this stuff really does mess up peoples' body clocks, and lots of computer work late at night is just as bad.
Really? I thought that was still speculation. Whilst light sensitive proteins have been found in tissues such as skin I am unaware of any studies that have shown that there is any perception of light.
 

DaveC426913

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Really? I thought that was still speculation. Whilst light sensitive proteins have been found in tissues such as skin I am unaware of any studies that have shown that there is any perception of light.
Well, considering it is through the skin that one absorbs and uses sunlight to produce vitamin D, it stands to reason that the skin has photosensitive properties.

(Don't read more into that than there is, I'm not making a link between TV and vitD production :grumpy: I'm simply pointing out that the skin does have ... well, I just pointed it out, didn't I?)
 

Ryan_m_b

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Well, considering it is through the skin that one absorbs and uses sunlight to produce vitamin D, it stands to reason that the skin has photosensitive properties.

(Don't read more into that than there is, I'm not making a link between TV and vitD production :grumpy: I'm simply pointing out that the skin does have ... well, I just pointed it out, didn't I?)
Oh no I knew that, I was referring to the discovery that flavin is a photosensitive agent. Whilst it does respond to light there have been claims that this means that humans can perceive light through their skin. Proton's post suggested to me that there might be evidence to push this beyond speculation.
 
Really? I thought that was still speculation. Whilst light sensitive proteins have been found in tissues such as skin I am unaware of any studies that have shown that there is any perception of light.
maybe so. i went back and looked, and it seems no one else is agreeing with Campbell and Murphy. but that extraocular light affects rhythms in non-mammals and ocular light affects mammals is not controversial.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11128297
 
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What might the effect be on the blind?

Is there a secondary mechanism in the spurring of melatonin production?
Could our bodies actually sense gravity to the degree that we can regulate to the rising and stting sun even though we can't see it?

Just wondering.

-edit, i'm sorry i should have read the posts first. you have all pretty much cover all of that. =/
 
Last edited:

DaveC426913

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Could our bodies actually sense gravity to the degree that we can regulate to the rising and stting sun even though we can't see it?
??

Do you think gravity changes with the rising and setting of the sun?

Ack! I better get a move on. I have a 50 gallon aquarium that I've got to get mounted on gimbals in the next ... 5 hours!
 
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yes... i do
like the moon does so as well, noticable at the beach twice a day.

i don't think its much and hinted to the slight degree in my question. i know it must be nearly inperceptible, but i assume a massive body at that distance has to have some effect.

i should clarrify gravity itself is the same but:

O ---------- .O vs .O------------ O

in the first pic the "." should have a net weight less than that of the second pic.
 
What do you think? Do you sleep with the TV on? Is there a correlation?
Light exposure in the evening, say, from watching television, can delay the onset of the bodies production of melatonin. Once asleep, though, I'm not sure how big of a factor this is.
 

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