Harvard Health Letter

Sleep helps with fat reduction

Losing the excess fat a lot of us carry around is never easy, and a small study shows that not getting enough sleep may make it even harder.

Researchers at the University of Chicago put 10 moderately overweight people (average BMI, 27.4) on pretty strict diets (about 1,450 calories a day). For two weeks, six were allowed to sleep 8 hours a night while the other four were restricted to sleeping just 5 hours. Several months later, for a separate two-week study period, people who had been allowed to sleep for 8 hours had their sleep restricted to 5 hours, while the short sleepers were allowed to get a full night's rest this time.

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