Are you deprived of proper sleep at night? Beware, you are more likely to be overweight and also at risk of developing diabetes, a new study has warned.
The findings showed that people who were sleeping an average of six hours a night had a waist measurement that was 3 cm greater than individuals who were getting nine hours of sleep a night.
People with shorter sleep were also heavier.
The results strengthen the evidence that insufficient sleep could contribute to the development of metabolic diseases such as diabetes, the researchers said.
"The number of people with obesity worldwide has more than doubled since 1980. Obesity contributes to the development of many diseases, most notably Type 2 diabetes. Understanding why people gain weight has crucial implications for public health," said Greg Potter from the University of Leeds, UK.
For the study, detailed in the journal PLOS ONE, the team involved 1,615 adults who reported how long they slept and kept records of food intake.
Further, people with shorter sleep duration also had a decrease in the levels of HDL cholesterol -- also known as good cholesterol -- which helps remove 'bad' fat from the circulation and protect against conditions such as heart disease.
"Because we found that adults who reported sleeping less than their peers were more likely to be overweight or obese, our findings highlight the importance of getting enough sleep. How much sleep we need differs between people, but the current consensus is that seven to nine hours is best for most adults," said Laura Hardie, a reader at the varsity.