Getting fatter and don't know why? Could it be too much light in your bedroom at night? As clocks go back one hour Saturday in the UK this is a story worth revisiting.
Of all the crackpot theories about what makes some people fatter than others here comes another one - Too much bedroom light can make you fat. Before you hot foot it down to the shops, to buy a good thick pair of black-out curtains or curtain liners, read on.
According to a recent study "Greater exposure to light at night raised both Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist size in more than 113,000 women taking part in the British study". Interesting but surely there were other considerations, such as genetic make-up, and these were taken into account?
The light bedroom, fat waist link appears to affect women more than women. Most of us know that too much light flooding into your bedroom can prevent a restful sleep, but can it really make you fatter?
The study specifies sleeping at night but what about shift workers who have to catch their sleep during the daytime? No matter how thick your curtains are preventing light coming through is a tricky business. Night shift workers know that trying to sleep in daylight messes with their body clock and so does a light bedroom at night, apparently.
All of the women who took part were asked to rank the usual level of light in their bedrooms at night on a scale of 1 to 4 with specific guidelines. The rating was 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 sleep mask.
The researchers did take into account other factors but overall the conclusion was that too much light makes for a fatter waistline.
Even the researchers though have advised caution in how you approach the results. They have said it is too early to truly say the light to fat link is a definite.
What the research now needs is a study of what happens to those who make the necessary changes to light levels in their bedroom. Will such changes reduce a waist size or not? Will a darker bedroom help keep the pounds off in the first place.
Many people sleep in lighter bedrooms these days, simply closing blinds rather than drawing heavy curtains. In the past the curtains were needed to keep bedrooms warm but modern glazing and heating cuts out that necessity.
Opinion: It is always worth considering the findings of research but also taking such findings with a pinch of salt.