Sticking to a healthy weight doesn’t just mean focusing on what you eat or the amount of exercise you do each day.

According to a recent study performed by Bruce Bailey, a professor in exercise science at Brigham Young University in Utah, USA, women who woke up and went to sleep at the same time each day displayed lower levels of body fat.

The study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, was based on examining data on more than 300 young women between the ages of 17 and 26 at two leading US universities.

For seven consecutive days and nights, the movements of these women and their sleep patterns were recorded via activity trackers.

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Results of the study

  • Women who got less than six and a half (or more than eight and a half) hours of sleep a night had higher levels of body fat.

  • Women who got between eight and eight and a half hours of sleep a night had lower levels of body fat.

  • Waking up and going to sleep at a time that varied by more than 90 minutes was linked to women with more body fat.

It’s interesting to note that according to this study, the waking time for these women was particularly tied to body fat. Those who woke up at the same time each day had the least amount of body fat.

How can you improve your sleep quality?

Professor Bailey suggests three things to start with: keep your bedroom cool, dark and quiet.

Related reading: Tips to help with insomnia and restless sleep

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.