When working hard to manage your weight, be sure to take a good look at your sleep patterns and ensure you are getting enough zzz’s. Not getting sufficient sleep can create an energy imbalance that can promote weight gain, according to a new study that links slight sleep deprivation to obesity. An astonishing 28 percent of adults in the U.S. get fewer than six hours of sleep nightly, spurring negative metabolic consequences.

Changes that occur when people are sleep-deprived (and get fewer than six hours of snoozing a night), namely increases in levels of ghrelin (often called the hunger hormone) and decreases in leptin (often called the feeling-full hormone), are those that can lead to weight gain, found the study, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

When researchers reviewed 18 studies published between 1996 and 2011 to analyze the role of partial sleep deprivation on energy balance and weight regulation, they found that sleep-deprived people experienced a pattern of increased ghrelin and decreased leptin.

“Changes in these hormones, coinciding with an energy-reduced diet, paired with changes in response to partial sleep deprivation may be expected to increase ghrelin and decrease leptin concentrations even further to promote hunger,” said lead study author Sharon Nickols-Richardson, MD, PhD, a professor at Pennsylvania State University, in a statement.

When making positive lifestyle changes, such as modifications to diet and exercise, also check to ensure you are getting adequate sleep nightly (at least seven to eight hours), to keep  you healthy and help bolster your weight-loss efforts. Set yourself up for success.

Do You consider your sleeping behavior when watching Your weight?