Scientists have found an easy way to lose weight. While the study’s goal was not to identify strategies to reduce weight, the data demonstrate that improving and sustaining improved sleep patterns can have a major impact.
As per a recent study led by experts at the University of Chicago in Illinois, sleeping longer may help individuals expend fewer calories per day and lose more weight if such optimal sleeping patterns are sustained throughout time. JAMA Internal Medicine, a peer-reviewed journal, released the results on Monday.
Eighty individuals between the ages of 21 and 40 took part in the clinical study. All of the subjects were classified as overweight, with BMIs varying from 25 to 29.9, although ‘normal’ body weight is somewhere between 18.5 and 24.9. All of the individuals slept for 6.5 hours or less on a regular basis. The study was carried out over a lengthy amount of time, from November 2014 to October 2020.
The individuals were followed for two weeks to create a baseline before being divided into two groups arbitrarily. The control group proceeded to sleep as they had before, while the other received “an individualised sleep hygiene counselling session,” with the goal of extending their bedtime to 8.5 hours.
The subjects received no additional help after the therapy, and they continued to sleep in their very own beds, despite wearing tracking devices to record their sleeping time.
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“Most other studies on this topic in labs are short-lived, for a couple of days, and food intake is measured by how much participants consume from an offered diet,” lead researcher Dr Esra Tasali at the University of Chicago’s Sleep Center stated. “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.”
The sleep expansion group’s sleep duration was prolonged by 1.2 hours per night on average, resulting in a significant reduction in energy intake when compared to the control group. The persons in the sleep extension group ingested 270 kcal less on average, which is substantial given that the suggested daily consumption for women is 2,000 kcal and 2,500 kcal for males.
“No significant treatment effect in total energy expenditure was found, resulting in weight reduction in the sleep extension group vs the control group,” the study reads.
While the study’s goal was not to identify strategies to reduce weight, the data demonstrate that improving and sustaining improved sleep patterns can have a major impact on a person’s body weight, according to the researchers.
“If healthy sleep habits are maintained over longer duration, this would lead to clinically important weight loss over time,” Tasali said. “Many people are working hard to find ways to decrease their caloric intake to lose weight – well, just by sleeping more, you may be able to reduce it substantially.”
Previous research into the link amongst body mass and sleep pattern had come up with a similar conclusion. According to a 2016 research performed by researchers at King’s College London, sleep deprivation may encourage people to eat more the next day, resulting in an increase in energy consumption of 385 kcal on average.