9 Ways to Multiply Your Weight Loss While You Sleep
Being overweight can stonewall your take-no-prisoners lifestyle and lead to health risks including diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Yet weight loss can be a monumental struggle of finding the time and motivation to follow a dietary regimen, cook healthy meals and get your recommended daily dose of calorie-burning exercise.
Fortunately, you’ve got a secret weapon stashed in your bedroom: sleep.
Sleep helps with weight loss directly because a lack of quality sleep is often at the root of weight challenges.
After all, when sleep is interrupted and of short duration, obesity risk increases by an astonishing 70%. When you sleep, your body produces leptin, its natural appetite suppressor, and suppresses ghrelin, an appetite-stimulating hormone. So when you’re getting insufficient sleep, you’re way more inclined to snack.
In other words, optimizing your sleep multiplies your daytime weight loss efforts.
Try these suggestions to keep your body burning calories all night long:
1.Undressed Is Best
Ditch the PJ's.
Sleeping naked lowers your core temperature and results in better sleep. Lower body temperatures also improve your metabolism directly by activating brown fat, which generates warming heat. Increased levels of activated brown fat really rev up your metabolism.
2. Skip the Nightcap
Steer clear of alcohol at bedtime.
According to Dr. Pradeep Sahota, a sleep researcher and Chair of Neurology at Missouri University School of Medicine, “Alcohol disrupts sleep and the quality of sleep is diminished” and “should not be used as a sleep aid.”
3. Snack on Protein
Have a light, protein-rich snack before bed. This is key if you want to keep (and even gain!) muscle mass while trying to lose weight while you sleep.
Nuts are excellent, as they’re a natural source of melatonin (so are cherries). A kiwi will boost levels of serotonin, which helps the body relax. Yogurt is good too: it’s a great source of calcium, which is not only good for strong bones, it helps your body to process melatonin.
4. Keep Yourself in the Dark
Melatonin is a hormone that promotes quality sleep. Melatonin production is interrupted by light, even through closed eyelids.
Rid your bedroom of intrusive light using blackout curtains and shades. If your alarm clock has a digital display, turn it to face the wall.
Those harsh LEDs on chargers, power strips and electronics emit enough light to keep your brain stimulated, so be sure to cover them with blackout stickers.
A nighttime routine balances your circadian rhythm. When in balance, you fall asleep easily and sleep until morning.
Sticking to a routine will let your body and brain automatically know when it’s time to get drowsy.
6. Eat a Small, Light Evening Meal
A heavy meal keeps your body active and working to digest your food, preventing necessary overnight restoration and recalibration.
It’s best to have your largest meal before mid-afternoon. For dinner, have smaller portions of seafood, poultry and whole grains.
7. Refrain from Stimulating Substances
Quick energy boosts from caffeine and nicotine come at the cost of your sleep quality. Be sure to avoid both at least three hours before bedtime.
If you’re caffeine-sensitive, you may benefit by eliminating caffeine altogether.
8. Cut out Pre-Bedtime Exercise
Exercise within 4 hours of turning in heats you up and interrupts your circadian rhythm, preventing the body’s natural cooldown as it prepares for sleep.
As such, it’s best not to exercise late in the day. Ideally, you can even take it one step further and exercise at the same time every day.
9. Say Goodnight to Blue Light
Avoid late-night stimulation from blue-light-producing TV, phone, and computer screens. Light in the blue color spectrum keeps you alert and focused during the day and does the same at night, interfering with sound sleep.
Moreover, using electronics — even in night mode — will keep your mind active.
Sleep Well, Feel Great
Add these recommendations to your evening routine and lose weight while you sleep.
You’ll look fantastic and regain your ready-to-conquer-the-world energy.
Lights out. Game on.
(1) Guglielmo Beccutia & Silvana Pannaina, “Sleep and Obesity.” Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3632337/. Jul. 2011.
(2) Catherine Cram, “What Exactly Is Brown Fat?“ Aaptiv, https://aaptiv.com/magazine/brown-adipose-tissue. Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.
(3) Robert Preidt, “Alcohol Before Bedtime Won't Help Your Sleep, Study Finds.” HealthDay, https://consumer.healthday.com/general-health-information-16/misc-alcohol-news-13/alcohol-before-bedtime-won-t-help-your-sleep-study-finds-694551.html. 15 Dec. 2014
(4) Marsha McCulloch, “The 15 Best Healthy Late-Night Snacks.” Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/healthy-late-night-snacks. 24 Jun. 2018.
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