London: Struggling to shed those extra kilos? If yes, try to have a good night`s sleep besides sticking to your diet and daily exercise, scientists suggest.
Researchers have found that those who get between six and eight hours of sleep a night are twice as likely to reduce their desired weight when put on a diet for six months.
The study also found that people trying to lose at least 10 pounds (about 4.5kg) were more likely to reach their goal if they had lower stress levels and slept moderately, the Telegraph reported.
For the study, the researchers from Kaiser Permanente Centre for Health Research -- a health care consortium based in Portland, Oregon -- recruited nearly 500 obese adults with an average age of 55 years.
The participants were asked to attend 22 counselling sessions, reduce their diet by 500 calories a day and increase the amount of exercise they took to at least three hours a week.
They also had to keep a diary of their habits, including their sleep patterns and stress levels.
After six months, 60 per cent of the participants had lost at least 10 pounds.
Researchers found that the successful dieters were more likely to report that they had slept between six and eight hours each night.
Almost three quarters of dieters who had both low stress levels and six to eight hours sleep a night were likely to achieve the 10-pounds weight loss target.
They were also twice as likely to be successful as participants who reported the highest stress levels and got six or less hours sleep a night.
"This study suggests that when people are trying to lose weight, they should try to get the right amount of sleep and reduce their stress," said lead author Dr Charles Elder of the Kaiser Permanente Centre for Health Research, in Portland, Oregon.
"Some people may just need to cut back on their schedules and get to bed earlier. Others may find that exercise can reduce stress and help them sleep.
"For some people, mindbody techniques such as meditation also might be helpful."
The study has been published in the International Journal of Obesity.