Increasing your sleep to 8.5 hours a night could help reduce calories needed a day by 270 calories on average, according to a new study from peer-reviewed journal Jama Internal Medicine.
That could translate to 26 pounds of weight loss over three years.
Researchers from the University of Chicago and the University of Wisconsin-Madison conducted the study with 80 overweight adults between ages 21-40 who sleep less than 6.5 hours a night. The clinical trial extended their sleep hours for two weeks.
The study also intended to see how it would work in a real-world setting as participants weren’t asked to change their lifestyle during the experiment.
“In our study, we only manipulated sleep, and had the participants eat whatever they wanted, with no food logging or anything else to track their nutrition by themselves,” said Dr. Esra Tasali, director of the UChicago Sleep Center at the University of Chicago Medicine.
Researchers said the “most surprising” aspect of the study was how simple it was to change the participants’ sleep habits to over an hour a night more, after only one sleep counseling session.
“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,” Tasali said.
U.S. & World
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends adults sleep at least eight hours a night. The agency also said that 1 in 3 American adults aren’t getting enough sleep, and that “A good night’s sleep is critical for good health.”