- Researchers assessed the sleeping habits of more than 120,000 participants
- They found those with the obesity gene are most at risk from a poor night’s rest
- Sleeping for too much each night was linked to being around 9lbs (4kg) heavier
- While not getting enough on a daily basis made people weigh 4.4lbs (2kg) more
Make sure you get eight hours of sleep each night.
New research has found that not sticking to the recommended amount of shut eye increases the chances of being obese.
In fact, sleeping for either too much or too little poses the same threat on your waistline, scientists claim.
And the risks of being overweight are widely known, linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and various forms of cancer.
Not getting the right amount of shut eye increases the chances of being obese, experts claim
Researchers from the University of Glasgow assessed the effects of sleep in more than 120,000 participants.
It is believed to be the first study of its kind to examine the interactions of sleeping habits and obesity genes.
Both long – more than nine hours – and short – less than seven hours – sleeps were looked at.
The findings were compared to those who were deemed to have a normal sleeping pattern of between seven and nine hours a night.
Long sleepers with a risk of obesity were around 9lbs (4kg) heavier, the study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found.
While short sleepers weighed around 4.4lbs (2kg) more than those who had frequently had a healthy night’s rest.
In fact, sleeping for either too much or too little poses the same threat on your waistline
OBESITY AND CANCER
Obesity strongly increases the risk of developing 11 types of cancer, a major study revealed last year.
Being overweight is probably linked to many other forms of the illness but so far there is not enough evidence, Imperial College London experts said.
Types linked to obesity include breast, oesophagus, stomach, bowel, rectum, biliary tract system, pancreas, womb, ovary, kidney and the blood cancer myeloma.
And the negative effects happened irrespective of diet, health concerns or socio-demographic factors.
The findings showed no clear link between sleep duration and body weight in those with a low genetic risk of obesity.
Study author Dr Jason Gill said: ‘These data show that in people with high genetic risk for obesity, sleeping for too short or too long a time, napping during the day and shift work appears to have a fairly substantial adverse influence on body weight.
‘However, the influence of adverse sleep characteristics on body weight is much smaller in those with low genetic obesity risk – these people appear to be able to ‘get away’ with poorer sleep habits to some extent.’
Co-author Dr Carlos Celis added: ‘It appears that people with high genetic risk for obesity need to take more care about lifestyle factors to maintain a healthy body weight.
‘Our data suggest that sleep is another factor which needs to be considered, alongside diet and physical activity.’