Have you noticed how you’ve been eating right, drinking plenty of water, exercising and doing everything you ideally should to get in shape, but you still can’t get that scale to budge?

Well, according to a new study, not getting adequate sleep, or the amount that’s ideal for your body, can contribute to weight gain. Research suggests that losing 30 minutes of sleep per day may promote weight gain, and adversely affect blood sugar levels, creating long-term consequences for your weight and metabolism.

Professor Shahrad Taheri, MBBS, PhD, professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Doha, said, “While previous studies have shown that short sleep duration is associated with obesity and diabetes, we found that as little as 30 minutes a day of sleep debt could have significant effects on obesity and insulin resistance at follow up.”

For the study, Taheri and his team recruited 522 patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus, and randomized them into one of three groups, ie, usual care, physical activity intervention, or diet and physical activity intervention. They observed that, when compared with participants who had no weekday sleep debt, those who had weekday sleep debt were 72 percent more likely to be obese by the 6-month mark.

Perhaps more than just counting calories and tracking your activity, you should consider investing in a sleep monitor to lose weight.

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Charlene Flanagan is a lifestyle journalist whose love for language drove her to earn her Bachelor’s degree in English literature, as well as pursue her Masters in Arts. Over the last five years, she’s contributed to a number of leading publications, and has particularly enjoyed reviewing books and restaurants, as well as interviewing celebrities. Her recent switch to a holistic lifestyle has her looking at her food choices very differently—although she won’t admit it. When she’s not busy writing up about workouts, home remedies, and skincare essentials, she spends her time being the quintessential city girl who’s excited to see what life has in store for her.