WASHINGTON, May 21 (UPI) -- A study of sleep and activity found overweight people tended to sleep less and be more active than their skinnier counterparts, researchers found.
As part of the Integrative Cardiac Health Project at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the researchers analyzed the sleep and activity levels of 14 nurses.
Dr. Arn Eliasson, the lead investigator, said each participant wore an actigraphy armband that measured total activity, body temperature, body position, and other indices of activity and rest.
"When we analyzed our data by splitting our subjects into 'short sleepers' and 'long sleepers,' we found that short sleepers tended to have a higher body mass index of 28.3, compared to long sleepers, who had an average BMI of 24.5. Short sleepers also had greater difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep."
Surprisingly, overweight individuals tended to be more active than their normal weight counterparts, taking significantly more steps than normal weight individuals: 14,000 compared with 11,300, a nearly 25 percent difference, and expending nearly 1,000 more calories a day -- 3,064 versus 2,080, Eliasson said.
However, those additional energy expenditures did not manifest in reduced weight and the researchers said future research will be needed to determine why.
The findings were presented at the American Thoracic Society's 105th International Conference in San Diego.