By Nancy Clanton, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Troy Warren for CNT #Health
Participants didn’t change the diet or exercise habits, but did sleep about an hour longer each night
Now here’s a study we can get behind.
According to researchers at the University of Chicago, sleeping an extra hour or so each night might be an easy way to lose weight.
The extra snoozing cut about 270 calories from the participants’ diets. That adds up to 26 pounds over three years.
The Chicago scientists carried out a clinical trial with 80 adults to see how sleep interacts with obesity. Counselors helped those who slept fewer than 6½ hours each night learn how to sleep an extra 1.2 hours of slumber.
The study’s focus wasn’t to find a new weight loss method, according to Dr. Esra Tasali of the University of Chicago’s sleep center.
“But even within just two weeks, we have quantified evidence showing a decrease in caloric intake and a negative energy balance — caloric intake is less than calories burned,” she told Bloomberg. “If healthy sleep habits are maintained over longer duration this would lead to clinically important weight loss over time.
“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.”
The study participants didn’t change what they ate or where they slept, but did sleep with wearable devices to track their patterns.
“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.”
You can read the full study, which was published Monday, in JAMA Internal Medicine.