Sleeping too little – or too much – can increase your risk for future weight gain, according to a study published in the April 1 issue of the journal Sleep.
For the study, researchers from the Laval University in Quebec, Canada evaluated the sleep habits and body composition of 276 adults between the ages of 21 and 64.
After adjusting for age, gender and baseline body mass index (BMI) the researchers determined that across the six year study period, those who slept for five to six hours per night gained 1.98 kg (4.36 lbs) more than “average duration” sleepers who slept between seven and eight hours per night. Those who slept between nine and 10 hours per night, meanwhile, gained 1.58 kg (3.48 lbs) more than average duration sleepers. In addition, the researchers report that the risk of becoming obese was elevated for both short and long duration sleepers, with short duration sleepers experiencing a 27% increased obesity risk and long duration sleepers experiencing a 21% increased risk compared to average duration sleepers.