Increasing your sleep to 8.5 hours a night could help reduce the calories needed per day by an average of 270 calories, according to a new study from the peer-reviewed journal Jama Internal Medicine.
This could translate to a weight loss of 26 pounds over three years.
Researchers from the University of Chicago and the University of Wisconsin-Madison conducted the study with 80 overweight adults between the ages of 21 and 40 who slept less than 6.5 hours per night. The clinical trial extended their sleeping hours for two weeks.
The study also aimed to see how it would work in a real-life setting, as participants weren’t asked to change their lifestyle during the experiment.
“In our study, we only manipulated sleep and asked participants to eat whatever they wanted, with no food logging or anything else to track their nutrition on their own,” noted Dr. Esra Tasali, director of the UChicago Sleep Center at the University of Chicago Medicine.
The researchers said the “most surprising” aspect of the study was how easily it was possible to change participants’ sleep patterns to more than an hour more per night after just one counseling session. on sleep.
“We simply coached each individual on good sleep hygiene and discussed their own personal sleep environment, providing personalized advice on changes they could make to improve their sleep duration,” Tasali said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend adults get at least eight hours of sleep per night. The agency also said that 1 in 3 American adults do not get enough sleep and that “a good night’s sleep is essential to good health.