The weight loss industry has come out with a seemingly unending supply of new miracle products meant to help us in our pursuits to fit into a smaller pair of jeans, but, according to a new study, the most helpful diet tools might just be a comfortable pillow and a solid eight hours.

Dr. Andrew Calvin, a cardiology fellow and assistant professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, observed a small group of individuals over eight nights. Half of the group was allowed to get their normal amount of sleep while the other half was deprived 80 minutes of sleep each night.

Both groups were allowed to eat as much as they wanted. On average, the group that got less sleep consumed 549 more calories than the well-rested participants. Both groups expended approximately the same amount of energy, so the additional caloric intake of the sleep deprived group was not burned off.

While the sample group for this study was small and the findings are not fully conclusive, this research does point towards an important relationship between a good night’s sleep and the ability to maintain a healthy weight.

Dr. Calvin feels that expanding this study would help confirm the findings. He stated that ”sleep deprivation is a growing problem, with 28 percent of adults now reporting that they get six or fewer hours of sleep per night.”

[HealthDay News]