Extra sleep may help overweight people lose weight.

New research shows that getting a lot of sleep, like more than nine hours a night, could help overweight people slim down, while sleeping fewer than seven hours a night was associated with higher weight.

Scientists arrived at this conclusion by putting sets of twins through different sleep conditions. Researchers think extra rest can work to suppress a gene that is connected to obesity. USA Today pointed out that, according to the study’s lead author, “both sleep need and BMI are inherited traits.”

He added that “researchers don’t know which genetic pathways involving weight are influenced by sleep, but they might include those involving hunger, satiety, fat storage, metabolism or other physiological functions.”

Researchers “have known for years that sleep deprivation increases levels of a hunger hormone and decreases levels of a hormone that makes you feel full.”

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