Need to lose weight? Forbes reports that getting your ZZZ's on a regular basis may help.

A team of researchers led by Bruce Bailey, professor of science at Brigham Young, monitored the movements and activities of 300 female college students between the ages 19 and 26 for a week.

They found that participants who had less than 6.5 hours of sleep or more than 8.5 hours of sleep were more likely to have increased body fat, and that going to bed and waking up at the same time daily helped decrease it. Those who slept between eight to 8.5 hours were found to have the lowest amount of fat. Researchers also found that the more out of sync their sleep schedule was, the higher their chances of packing the pounds.

Although sleep isn't enough to effectively lose weight, it is definitely a good start, as regular sleeping patterns have been known to affect metabolism, appetite, and hormonal balance.

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(Photo by Betsssssy via Flickr Creative Commons)

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