Weight loss improved sleep quality in the sixth month, as well as mood (symptoms of depression), regardless of how the individuals lost the weight, the study said.

"This study confirms several studies reporting that weight loss is associated with increased sleep duration," said Nasreen Alfaris from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, US.

In the two-year study, researchers compared three behavioral interventions for weight loss in 390 obese adults treated in primary care practices. The researchers evaluated changes in weight, sleep duration and quality, and mood after six and 24 months of treatment.

Participants who lost at least five percent of their weight at month six reported that they gained an average of 21.6 minutes of sleep a night, compared with only 1.2 minutes for those who lost less than five percent. Likewise, participants who lost more than five percent of initial weight reported greater improvement on measures of sleep quality and mood, compared with those who lost less than five percent. However, only improvements in mood remained statistically significant at 24 months, Alfaris noted.


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