Study: Bright Light, Early in the Morning, Can Help Weight Loss

By: Michael Oder Email
By: Michael Oder Email

Having a hard time losing weight? You might try waking up early and taking in the sunrise.

A new study from the journal PLOS ONE says that people who are exposed to light, early in the day, were most likely to have a lower body mass index. The study was published on Wednesday. Researchers say that getting moderate intensity light exposure earlier in the day correlates to a lower BMI.

The study said that for every hour that a person didn't expose themselves to light, BMI rose by 1.28 points. Scientists looked at the "Mean Light Timing above Threshold" or MLiT, to measure timing, length and brightness of each participant's exposure.

Researchers conclude that light is a powerful biological signal and appropriate timing, intensity and duration of exposure may represent a potentially modifiable risk factor for the prevention and management of obesity in modern societies.

Wondering how much light to have early in the morning? The study says 500 lux. That's the same brightness as typical office lighting. An overcast day is around 1,000 lux. Being outside, not in direct sunlight, is between 10,000 and 25,000 lux.


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