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Diet and exercise both play an important role in managing type 2 diabetes. Experts recommend combining a well-balanced, healthy diet with regular physical activities to maintain proper blood sugar levels but the list may soon include smartphone exposure.
Type 2 diabetes causes the body to lose control of the amount of sugar in the blood. Using smartphone or tablet an hour before sleep at night has been found contributing to sudden increase in sugar levels.
The study, published in the journal Physiology & Behaviour, shows that the increase occurs due to exposure to artificial light from electronic devices before bedtime.
“Even at levels you may think are harmless, light exposure at night can trigger a number of health problems,” Kathryn Russart, a postdoctoral researcher at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, said as quoted by the Daily Express. “Light at night is an environmental endocrine disruptor.”
She explained that the body’s circadian rhythm or natural clock runs based on 24-hour solar days. It helps the body manage regular hormonal rhythm in endocrine tissues.
However, when the brain is exposed to light at night, the internal clock gets disrupted making it harder to fall asleep and causing changes in the body that trigger sugar spike.
Experts said that people should keep only less than five lux of light at night to keep the circadian rhythm in sync. Using phones, tablets and even TV before bedtime could expose the body to 40 lux of light.
“You may use bright light blocking glasses, widely sold online to help reuse the exposure to the blue light from electronics,” Elena Christofides, an endocrinologist in private practice in Columbus, Ohio, said. “My advice is to put the special glasses on around dinner time and keep them on as long as you are using the computer, smartphone, iPad or watching TV.”
In 2018, smartphone users in the U.S. reached 257.3 million, according to database company Statista. Meanwhile, there are more than 30 million Americans who have diabetes, with 90 percent to 95 percent of them living with type 2 diabetes.