It's not very often that you hear health and laziness being associated in a positive light, however, new research has found that sleeping for more than nine hours a night may help those with a genetic predisposition to being overweight stay healthy.
The new research, which has been published in the journal Sleep, observed 1,088 pairs of twins and found that those with a predisposition to being overweight could stay healthy by sleeping for more than nine hours.
They also uncovered that those who slept less than seven hours were more likely to have higher body weights and a greater susceptibility to genetic factors that influence weight. Their findings once again place an emphasis on the importance of sleep on influencing our health and wellbeing.
Researchers from the University of Washington took a unique approach to this sleep study, examining how sleep interacts with certain genes. Previous research has revealed that several genes are associated with obesity, and the researchers from America were looking to find how sleep interacts with them.
In their study of 1,088 pairs of twins, they found that the genetic influence on their body mass index was twice as great in those who slept for less than seven hours compared to those who slept for nine hours a night.
Lead author Dr Nathaniel Watson, said: "The results suggest that shorter sleep provides a more permissive environment for the expression of obesity related genes.
"Or it may be that extended sleep is protective by suppressing expression of obesity genes."
There are several ways in which you can ensure you are getting the right amount of sleep at night. Making the bedroom a sleep-centric place is top of the list, with a good mattress an ideal way to ensure that you get the right amount of sleep once in the bedroom.
But this has become a problem in itself, with a collection of recent studies suggesting that a change in lifestyle is necessary for getting the right amounts of sleep at night.
Posted by Elizabeth Mewes