Getting more sleep might help you eat less without even trying, according to new research from the University of Chicago.
In the study, the scientists collected data from 80 young adults—with a BMI in the “overweight” range—who slept less than 6.5 hours a night.
Then they divided the participants into two groups: One that got individualized sleep coaching—to improve the length and quality of their shuteye—and one that didn’t.
The result: On average, participants who received the coaching added 1.2 hours of sleep a night—and ate 155 fewer calories per day than they were before the experiment. (The other group actually increased their daily calorie intake.)
Put another way: The participants cut more than 1,000 calories per week from their diet by simply sleeping a little more.
That’s meaningful progress—and it required zero intentional eating changes.
Besides eating less, the participants told the researchers they felt more alert, with a better mood and higher energy level.
Those are benefits that can translate to making wise food choices, having fewer cravings, and getting in more daily movement. Win-win-win.
For 10 tips to help improve your sleep check out this article with scientifically backed sleeping hacks and this video interview with sleep experts.
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Tasali E, Wroblewski K, Kahn E, Kilkus J, Schoeller DA. Effect of Sleep Extension on Objectively Assessed Energy Intake Among Adults With Overweight in Real-life Settings: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2022 Feb 7.