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Belly fat linked to poor sleep, says a new study

Though previous studies have shown that a lack of sleep can lead to weight gain, new research has found that it also works the other way: extra weight can affect your sleep.

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A new study suggests that having extra belly fat can negatively affect sleep. (Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)

A new study has shown that having extra pounds negatively affects sleep.

Though previous studies have shown that a lack of sleep can lead to weight gain, new research has found that it also works the other way: extra weight can affect your sleep.

Time reported that researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that weight loss can lead to better sleep.

The study looked at 77 overweight people with diabetes or prediabetes.

According to Red Orbit, researchers watched the participants over six months, tracking their sleep quality through surveys.

The participants were separated into two groups, said Time, divided between those doing exercise and diet and those who just dieted.

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Both groups experienced weight loss and both improved sleep by up to 20 percent.

When controlled for age and gender the results held up.

“The key ingredient for improved sleep quality from our study was a reduction in overall body fat and, in particular, belly fat, which was true no matter the age or gender of the participants or whether the weight loss came from diet alone or diet plus exercise,” said study leader Kerry Stewart, a professor of medicine at John Hopkins, reported Medical News Today.

Belly fat in particular is worrying to doctors and detrimental to sleep.

The reason why fat, and belly fat, in particular, is bad for sleep is that it increases inflammation, raises insulin resistance and slows the metabolism.

The findings will be presented during the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/121107/belly-fat-linked-poor-sleep-says-new-study