It is well known that both too little sleep, and too much sleep, are associated with obesity.  Reduced sleep in particular is a problem in modern society – I’m sure we can all attest to this!   The optimum amount of sleep is between 7-8 hours for adults.

A recent study led by my colleague Dr Chaput looked at people who habitually slept less than 6 hours per day, and divided them into two groups: those who increased their sleep to a healthier 7-8 hours per day, and those who kept their usual sleep habits.

At 6 years, they found that those who kept their short sleep patterns gained 2.4kg more fat mass than those who changed their habits to longer sleep.

So, for those of us who are certain that we can thrive on less than 6 hours of sleep – it may not be the best for our health in the long run.

Dr Sue Pedersen © 2013 

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