If braving the pool or hitting the gym has never been your style, here's a new way to keep your weight in check: get a good night's sleep. Growing evidence is suggesting that not only does sleeping enough help you look and feel good, it can also keep you thin, the UK's Daily Mail reported. New research from Birmingham in the UK suggests that some of the 60 percent of Britons now considered overweight or obese could be that way because of sleep deprivation rather than just diet.
"We have done a series of studies looking at weight and sleep, and studying the metabolic rate," says Dr Shahrad Taheri, a consultant endocrinologist at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital. "We discovered that people who sleep for significantly less than seven hours a night often end up being obese."
People who get fewer than four hours' sleep a night are a staggering 73 percent more likely to pile the pounds on, while insufficient sleep can result in cravings for up to 3780 extra kilojoules a day. Research has shown that even for people who did not suffer from weight problems prior, when subjected to sleep deprivation their weight increased. "Lack of sleep seems to stimulate the hormones that regulate appetite," Dr Taheri said. "It leads to higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that triggers appetite, and lower levels of leptin, that tells your body it's full." And the worrying news is that the problem is set to worsen. Since 1960, the average night's sleep in the UK has dropped from nine to seven hours, with half of people reporting that they are often so tired at work that they long to go home, the Daily Mail reported. "The longer you're awake, the more time there is to eat," Dr Taheri added. "And obesity is likely to lead to broken sleep. Weight is a factor in sleep apnoea and snoring, which are more likely to wake you during the night, so you can end up in a vicious cycle." Your say: Do you find it hard to regularly get a good night's sleep? Are you often hungrier when you are tired?