New research shows that the consistency of a person’s bedtime and wake time can influence body fat. Exercise science professor Bruce Bailey studied more than 300 women from two universities over the course of several weeks and determined that those with the best sleeping habits had healthier weights. According to a Science Daily news report, women in the study were first assessed for body composition and then given an activity tracker to record their movements during the day and sleep patterns at night. Sleep patterns of the participants were tracked for 1 week.
One of the main findings of the study, published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, revealed the link between bedtime and wake time consistency and body weight. The female participants in the study who went to bed and woke up at the same time each day had lower body fat, while those with more than 90 minutes of variation in sleep and wake time had higher body fat than those with less than 60 minutes variation. Bailey explains that staying up late and possibly sleeping in may do more harm than good.
Bailey states, “We have these internal clocks and throwing them off and not allowing them to get into a pattern does have an impact on our physiology.” The researchers also found that those who slept between 8 and 8.5 hours per night had the lowest body fat. In addition, quality of sleep also proved to have a strong relationship to body fat as those with better sleep quality had lower body fat.
Bailey says, “Sleep is often a casualty of trying to do more and be better and it is often sacrificed…” Bailey recommends exercising, having a quiet and dark room, using a bed only for sleeping, and keeping a cool room temperature can improve sleep quality.
Source: Science Daily