Cutting Calories in Your Sleep

Sleeping longer tied to reduced calorie intake

(RxWiki News) Looking to cut calories? You might want to sleep longer.

That's the key takeaway from a new study of 80 overweight adults in their 20s and 30s. Study participants who increased their nightly sleep time decreased their daily calorie intake by nearly 300 calories per day on average.

Eating that many fewer calories per day could lead to as much as 26 pounds of weight loss over a three-year period, this study found. And some of the study participants showed calorie reductions that topped 500 fewer calories daily.

The participants in this study usually got less than 6.5 hours of sleep per night. They were asked to try to sleep for 8.5 hours a night over a two-week period. Researchers then tested their urine to understand how many calories they were consuming.

The authors of this study did not test the reasoning behind the reduction in calorie intake, but they noted that past research has found that sleep may have an effect on hormones that regulate hunger and appetite.

These researchers said their findings highlight the importance of sleep as a health factor.

This study was relatively small, so more research may be needed to confirm its findings. Talk to your health care provider before making any changes to your sleep schedule or calorie intake. And if you are concerned about your weight and its potential effect on your health, reach out to your doctor.

This study was published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

Grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Diabetes Research and Training Center at The University of Chicago funded this research. The study authors disclosed no potential conflicts of interest.

Review Date: 
March 1, 2022