Getting a full night’s sleep could help one lose weight, according to a recent study by University of Chicago and University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers.
The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine on Feb. 7, followed 80 young, overweight adults and found that participants who slept fewer than 6.5 hours per night were able to increase their sleep duration by an average of 1.2 hours after sleep hygiene counseling.
With a targeted sleep duration of 8.5 hours per night, researchers found participants who increased their sleep decreased their daily calorie intake by approximately 270 calories, or about 26 pounds over three years, compared to a control group.
Dr. Esra Tasali, director of the UChicago Sleep Center at University of Chicago Medicine and one of the study’s co-authors, said the increased sleep sent a message to the participants’ brains.
“It’s not just about spending fewer calories because you spend more time in bed and have less time to eat,” Tasali said. “But when you wake up rested, your body systems are better regulated, and your appetite hormones and your brain tells you to eat less, and you feel less hungry.”
The study suggests increasing sleep duration could be a viable intervention for combating obesity.
Tasali joined “Chicago Tonight” to discuss the study’s findings.