The reason you're gaining weight could be down to a lack of beauty sleep and not the daily post-lunch, desk-snack binges we're all guilty of. According to new research, people who regular get less than nine hours of solid sleep at night can (so that's basically all of us) can gain up to 3cm on their waists.
Dr Laura Hardie, Reader in Molecular Epidemiology at the University of Leeds, headed up the research which questioned 1,615 adults about their lifestyle habits, including how long they slept each night as well as what their diet entails. Researchers also assessed the participants' overall metabolic health - blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and thyroid function in order to inform the connection between sleep and weight.
The results revealed that those who slept for roughly six hours per night had waist sizes approximately 3cm wider than those fortunate enough to kip for nine solid hours. More worryingly was the fact that accidental night owls were found to be 'heavier' than both sets of participants. But researchers are keen to point out that no direct link between lack of sleep and bad diet was discovered. However, it does support previous evidence that less sleep can lead to metabolic conditions, such as diabetes.
If you need a valid reason to give up that habit of scrolling through Instagram for hours before bedtime, this is it.
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