This was the conclusion reached by scientists from the Center for Sleep Studies at the Medical University of Chicago after conducting a randomized clinical trial involving 80 overweight adult volunteers.
Their results, published in the journal Internal Medicine of the American Academy of Sciences, show that young people who attended a sleep hygiene consultation were able to lengthen their regular sleep duration by a full hour or more, that is, by almost a fifth (before that they slept an average of 6.5 hours a night).
Volunteers who spent more time in bed (compared to the control group) felt less hunger, and thus were able to reduce their regular daily caloric intake by an average of 270 kcal. Approximately the same amount of energy is contained in three chocolate chip cookies.
Gianpaolo Persoglio believes that if you lose this amount of energy every day for three years, you can lose about 12 kg during that time – while maintaining the same level of physical activity and without making any changes to your diet.
Several previous scientific experiments have concluded that regular sleep deprivation often leads to weight gain. The authors of the new study decided to examine this relationship in detail in the opposite direction: can longer sleep help those who are already overweight lose it?
To participate in the experiment selected 80 participants aged 20 to 40 years old with a body mass index of 25-30: in the U.S., this weight is considered excessive, but has not yet reached the stage of full obesity.