The study was conducted by researchers at University of Otago who analyzed the sleeping patterns and body weight, height and fat levels in 386 boys and 299 girls between 15 and 18 years of age in Otago.
The researchers found that teenage boys who slept for eight hours or less in a day had nine percent higher fat levels in their body compared to boys who slept for 10 hours every day. The researchers found no such link between sleep duration and fat levels among girls.
"Most of the research in this area to date has focused on younger children, whose parents tend to be stricter about bedtimes. Teenagers get more leeway over bedtimes. Our results suggest that for older teenage boys, making sure that they get adequate sleep may help to maintain a healthier a body. It seems to be that, within reason, the more sleep the better for boys. It was unexpected that we did not find the same result in girls, who may actually be more aware of their diet and more in tune with a healthier lifestyle", lead researcher Paula Skidmore said.