Late-night pizza and beer often take the blame for the dreaded "freshman 15" that many college student inevitably pack on in the fall of each new school year, but a new study shows the culprit may be something else entirely.
Researchers at Brown University recently studied 132 freshman, and after asking them to keep a detailed diary found that the scale typically inched higher for those who simply got less sleep.
Regardless of the unnecessary calories from underage drinking among campuses or less-than-ideal cafeteria dining eating habits, those who gained the most weight were keeping late hours and not getting enough shut-eye.
Students who were gaining weight rapidly typically called it a night around 1:30 a.m., the study showed, and were getting far under the recommended 9 hours and 15 minutes of rest for their age range.
In less than three months into their first semester, more than half of the students already had gained roughly six pounds, Washington’s Top News was the first to report, and the only variable in those that did was the difference in sleep schedule.
The study began as a way to debunk the myths of the body changes among first-year students, but researchers say the sleep-weight connection affects all ages.