- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 23, 2005

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — If you want to lose fat, getting the right amount of sleep each night might be just as crucial to shedding excess pounds as diet and regular exercise.

Research presented at a Canadian conference on obesity last week shows a strong link between lack of sleep and increased fat, as well as an increased risk of several life-threatening diseases.

The research reveals that body-chemical changes caused by lack of sleep lead to weight gain and that disruption of normal sleep patterns can destroy the body’s ability to regulate appetite.

People are averaging nearly two hours less sleep each night than they did 40 years ago, said Esra Tasali of the University of Chicago.

Researchers in Chicago studied metabolic changes in healthy young adults.

The adults were divided into three groups. One group had daily sleep restricted to four hours, the second group was allowed a normal eight hours, while the third group was granted an extended sleep period of 12 hours.

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