If you’re looking for ways to trim your body fat, set your alarm clock. A Brigham Young University researcher says consistent bedtimes and, more important, wakeup times have a bearing on body fat.
Of the more than 300 young women participating in the study, those with the best sleep habits had the healthiest weights, professor Bruce Bailey reported in the American Journal of Health Promotion. Those who went to bed and awakened around the same time each day had lower body fat, while those with more than 90 minutes’ variation in sleep and wake time had higher body fat than those with less than 60 minutes of variation. Those who slept between eight and 8½ hours per night had the lowest body fat, while those getting more than that or less than 6½ hours per night had higher body fat, the study found.
Bailey explained that altered sleep patterns or sleep hygiene can influence physical activity patterns, affecting hormones related to food consumption, which can lead to greater body fat.