Exercise and a balanced diet are the traditional methods that you normally get to hear from your doctor, nutritionist or dietitian. Likewise, for the health conscious, sleep is essential to your good health and lack of sufficient sleep can lead to unpleasant health conditions such as obesity and weight gain. Normally, if you’re trying to lose weight, sleep is the last thing on your mind. Research now shows that bedtime is something you need to consider more seriously if you want to lose weight. Here are some of the ways you can lose weight in your sleep.
Avoid Heavy Meals at Night
Get in the trend of taking light dinner. Light foods are easier on your stomach and can be digested quickly. Faster digestion means that you can burn more fat. Experts recommend that you take low carbs or avoid carbs at night to speed up digestion. Additionally, try to eat at least two hours before going to bed so that all the food may get digested by the time you hit the bed.
Eating smaller healthier meals throughout the day helps to keep your metabolism active. As a result, your body continues the process even while you’re asleep, thereby burning more fat.
Invest in Black Out Curtains
Light at night interrupts a good sleep and may even lead to weight gain, according to reports published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. If you live in a place with street lights or outdoor lights, invest in light-blocking curtains or shades for your bedroom. Similarly, turn off any glowing lights from clocks and other objects so that you can sleep in complete darkness. Total darkness enhances the production of melatonin, which induces sleep as well as boosts the production of calorie-burning brown fat, according to research.
Switch Off All Devices
Any electronic devices in your bedroom need to be shut down before you sleep. The blue light from smartphones and tablets have been found to compromise the production of melatonin. Researchers have also discovered that extended TV time before bed can lead to higher levels of triglycerides (which is linked to metabolic syndrome and diabetes) and lower levels of adiponectin (a protein that regulates glucose levels and aids the breakdown of fatty acids). On top of that, lower all noise levels so that your mind can wind down peacefully.
Go to Bed Early
Have you noticed that you always want to eat more when you’re sleepy? Reports indicate that sleep deprivation increases the production of ghrelin, an appetite-stimulating hormone. According to the research, scanning the brains of sleep-deprived individuals shows that parts of the brain associated with rewards and pleasure lights up when they eat. Since food is rewarding, when you eat, you’ll only want to eat more and more. This leads to obesity and overweight. A fatigued brain may find it difficult to control the impulse to eat and this may lead to overeating.
Avoid Alcohol Before Bedtime
Most calories are burnt during REM sleep. However, when you drink alcohol just before sleeping, your body will prioritize alcohol metabolism which prevents or interrupts you from achieving REM sleep. If you must drink, give yourself a three-hour allowance so that your body can metabolize the alcohol.
Have a Protein Shake Before Bed
Protein shakes boost metabolism at night, and since they are more thermogenic than carbs or fat, your body ends up burning more calories. One study concluded that men who drank a protein shake before bed had a higher rate of calories burning the next day. More importantly, protein helps in muscle repair. This means that your muscle will be rejuvenated the next day, and your weight will be in check.
Hit the Gym Early
While exercising is always a recommendation when it comes to weight loss, avoid working out a few hours before your bedtime. Workouts utilize plenty of nutrients which your body also requires at night while you sleep. These may make you hungrier and trigger a craving for food. If you work out in the evening, do so at least three hours before you sleep. Experts recommend that you exercise early in the morning when you wake up to avoid hitting the gym too late in the evening.
Prepare Night Time Tea
There are specific herbal teas that promote liver detoxification and calorie burning. Chamomile, lavender, lemongrass, peppermint, ginger and lemon tea, green tea and mint tea are just a few examples. Apart from soothing, some of these teas have sedative properties that may aid in inducing sleep. Others have slimming properties that act by blocking hunger hormones, thus you end up eating less.
Avoid the Duvet
A new study shows that letting the cold into your bedroom can help attack belly fat while you’re asleep. The report published in the journal Diabetes, suggests that sleeping in cooler rooms triggers a reaction by your body in an effort to maintain the ideal body temperature. In return, the number of calories burned increased by seven percent compared to those people who covered themselves in duvets.
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