A new study from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine revealed that not getting enough sleep can lead to increased accumulation of fat around your organs (visceral fat), which is more dangerous – according to researchers – than fat around your waist.

A clear association between people under 40 receiving less than 5 hours of sleep at night and large increases in visceral fat was documented. The study also showed a similar, but smaller, association with people who sleep more than 8 hours a day in the same age group.

The researchers commented that it will be important in future obesity studies to document sleep patterns along with caloric intake.

So as you look to maintain a healthy weight, be sure to pay attention to your sleep patterns. Create a restful bedroom environment, avoid caffeine before bedtime and make sure you are using a supportive mattress. Following these steps may be the extra boost you need to lose those few extra pounds!