Sleepless nights `help burn calories`

Los Angeles: You may lose sleep over this study - going without a night`s rest helps shed the flab.

Earlier researches have linked chronic lack of sleep to weight gain. Now an international team claims to have found that losing a night`s shut-eye helps burn 135 calories, almost the same amount of energy one exhausts during a two-mile walk.

But sleep deprivation is not a way to lose weight. It actually means people store more energy while asleep than was thought, according to the researchers.

The study, led by Colorado`s Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory, found young adults used seven per cent more energy when they were forced to go 40 hours without sleep.

In contrast, they used up less energy in the recovery period which included 16 hours of wakefulness, followed by eight hours` sleep, the `Daily Express` reported.

Lead researcher Prof Kenneth Wright said: "The amount of energy storage needed to explain the obesity epidemic is 50 calories a day, so the finding is meaningful."