A new study examining the link between obesity and sleep has claimed that people who sleep for nine hours each night could be helping themselves to reduce weight.
The research on over a thousand pairs of twins, carried out at the University of Washington and published in the journal Sleep, showed that those who get this much sleep are managing to counteract a genetic predisposition to obesity, as it is known that our genetic profile can affect the ways in which the body uses energy, how fat is stored and how fast our blood sugars are used up.
The twin study revealed that sleeping for under seven hours per night was associated with a higher body mass index (BMI), as well as a higher sensitivity to some genetic factors that can influence our weight, but that those who got at least nine hours sleep a night found the opposite was the case. The influence of genes on the BMI on people who sleep less than seven hours a night was actually found to be double that for people who slept for nine hours a night.
Nathaniel Watso, the lead author on the study, commented “The results suggest that shorter sleep provides a more permissive environment for the expression of obesity related genes.”
He added “Or it may be that extended sleep is protective by suppressing expression of obesity genes.”

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