Laying up for a solid night’s sleep might not sound like the best recipe for weight loss, but loads of research has pointed to the importance of sufficient shut-eye to losing weight. And a small new study shows that not getting enough sleep might severely cut into people’s ability to lose extra fat.
Researchers found that if dieters got a full night’s rest, they more than doubled the amount of weight lost from fat reserves. So even though subjects lost about as much weight when they were sleep deprived as when they were well-rested, only about a quarter of the weight lost during the short sleep period was from fat. Tired-eyed dieters also reported feeling hungrier than they did when they had gotten enough sleep. Results of the study were published online October 4 in Annals of Internal Medicine.
“Cutting back on sleep, a behavior that is ubiquitous in modern society, appears to compromise efforts to lose fat,” Plamen Penev, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and study co-author, said in a prepared statement. Study subjects lost about 55 percent more fat when they got ample sleep at night.