Early to bed, early to eat--good for the waistline

Here’s a good reason to call it a night—an early one: “Being a night owl might increase your waistline,” says sleep expert Michael Breus, PhD. People who stay up late and sleep late—specifically, they get more than half their sleep after 5:30 a.m.—also tend to eat more fast food and consume more of their calories after 8 p.m. than do normal sleepers. In one study, the more that subjects ate after 8 p.m., the higher their body-mass index, even after controlling for other factors.

“One of the easiest things that anyone on a diet can do to improve her results is go to bed and wake up at the same times every day,” Breus says. “This way, your body knows when to sleep and is much more efficient. Organize your eating, too, by trying to eat meals at the same times every day. Avoid eating after 8 p.m., and don’t miss morning meals by sleeping in.”

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