Light exposure before bedtime may be associated with impaired glucose regulation in non-pregnant adults, according to increasing evidence.
According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, gestational diabetes affects 4 to 5 in 100 pregnant women.
Reading late into the night or leafing through the sheets under the covers is a common sleeping habit. Do we hear a “yes”? Well, that’s especially for all the pregnant women out there. According to some researchers, pregnant women should reduce these habits to reduce their risk of developing gestational diabetes. According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, gestational diabetes affects 4 to 5 in 100 pregnant women. It can lead to complications including health problems for the baby if not well controlled. Pregnant women who are exposed to higher levels of light in the three hours before bedtime appear to be more likely to develop diabetes during their pregnancy, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Maternal Fetal Medicine.
dr Minjee Kim, the lead author of the study at Northwestern University, said, “Light at night can pose an unrecognized risk for serious pregnancy complications.” Previously, researchers found that people who work shifts are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and that greater nocturnal exposure to outdoor artificial light is also associated with an increased risk of disease.
It is believed that exposure to light at night lowers melatonin levels, disrupts the body’s internal clock and affects various metabolic processes such as blood sugar regulation. Kim continued, “Although we cannot prove it from this observational study, similar mechanisms may be at play in pregnant women.”
Light exposure before bedtime may be associated with impaired glucose regulation in non-pregnant adults, according to increasing evidence. However, little is known about the effect of evening light on the risk of developing gestational diabetes, a common complication of pregnancy with serious health consequences for both mother and child. This is one of the first multi-site studies to look at the effect of bedtime light exposure on the risk of developing gestational diabetes.
“It’s alarming,” Kim said, adding, “Gestational diabetes is known to increase birth complications and maternal risk for diabetes, heart disease and dementia. The offspring are also more likely to suffer from obesity and high blood pressure as they age.”
Gestational diabetes is on the rise in the United States and around the world. About 4.5% of first-time pregnant women with a baby born between 2011 and 2013 developed gestational diabetes, which is expected to increase by 3.4% per three-year period through 2019. In 2020, the gestational diabetes rate in the US was 7.8% of all births.
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