A new study shows that sticking to a consistent bedtime and wake time don’t just improve sleep quality, it could be also be beneficial for managing our waistlines. Researchers from Brigham Young University found a link between having a consistent sleep and wake time and less body fat among young women.
The sleep and physical activity of 330 women, ages 17-26, were monitored for one week. Researchers also measured the women’s body fat.
The results showed that having variation of more than 90 minutes of sleep and wake time was linked with higher body fat, compared with people who had variation of fewer than 60 minutes of sleep and wake time. Wake time seemed to be more linked to body fat than sleep time.
Also, sleeping too little, less than 6.5 hours a night and sleeping too much, more than 8.5 hours a night, were both linked to increased body fat. The women who slept between 8-8.5 hours a night had the lowest body fat.
Sleep quality, the amount of time spent actually sleeping, was also discovered have an association with lower body fat levels.
The findings indicated that throwing off our body’s internal clock and not allowing them to get into a pattern, does have an impact on our physiology.
Promoting consistent sleep and wake times for your household doesn’t just help the adults, research shows that regular bedtimes for children is associated with better scores on cognitive test and improved behavior.
Try setting a bedtime alarm to help you stick with a consistent sleep time. Be sure to stay away from electronics and include relaxing activities in your new bedtime routine such as a taking warm bath, reading a book or stretching, to encourage a pattern and increase sleep-promoting melatonin levels for a restful night of sleep.