Sleeping for an extra hour each night can help people shave around 270 calories off their daily diet – the equivalent of three chocolate biscuits, new research has found.
Over three years, this could lead to a weight loss of 26lb – simply by sleeping more, the researchers said.
A team from the University of Chicago wanted to look at how sleep interacts with obesity.
Writing in the journal Jama Internal Medicine, they found that young, overweight adults who habitually slept fewer than 6.5 hours a night were able to add an extra 1.2 hours per night after undergoing counselling to improve their sleeping habits.
Dr Esra Tasali, said: “If healthy sleeping habits are maintained over a longer duration, this would lead to clinically important weight loss over time.”
She said the study intentionally did not attempt to limit diets or lifestyles to replicate everyday life.
“In our study we only manipulated sleep, they could eat whatever they wanted to,” she added.
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Dr Tasali also found cutting usage of devices such as mobile phones and laptops before bedtime helped people sleep better and for longer.
Image: Using your phone before bed can stop you getting enough sleep
She said that after just one sleep counselling session, the participants’ bedtime habits changed to ensure they stayed asleep for longer.
She added: “We simply coached each individual on good sleep hygiene, and discussed their own personal sleep environments, providing tailored advice on changes they could make to improve their sleep duration.”
The adults in the study were aged 21 to 40, with a body mass index (BMI) at the start of the study of between 25 and 29.9, meaning they were overweight.
Source : Sky News