A good night’s sleep can help you stay slim, a study has found.

Dieters who get a good night’s rest lose twice as much fat than those who scrimp on their time in bed. Sleep deprivation increases levels of hormones that cause feelings of hunger, Daily Mail reported Tuesday citing the study.

Scientists tracked the weight loss of 10 volunteers who each spent four weeks in laboratory conditions eating a calorie-reduced diet.

For the first two weeks, the volunteers were allowed eight-and-a-half hours’ sleep a night. The second stint saw them being given five-and-a-half hours a night.

They spent their days doing home or office work or leisure activities.

At the end of the test periods, the U.S. scientists found that the volunteers had lost similar amounts of weight — but the proportion of fat lost was significantly higher over the fortnight with good sleep.

An average of about three kilograms was lost during each 14-day session.

During the “good sleep” weeks, volunteers lost 3.1 pounds of fat and 3.3 pounds of fat-free body mass, mostly protein. In the short-sleep session, participants lost an average of 1.3 pounds of fat and 5.3 pounds of fat-free mass.

Study director Plamen Penev, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, said: “Cutting back on sleep, a behaviour that is ubiquitous in modern society, appears to compromise efforts to lose fat through dieting.”

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