Sleep Your Way to Skinny
How Better Sleep Helps You Burn Fat
You might be surprised to learn that your sleep affects your weight. Studies have shown that people who get better sleep weigh less. Similar studies have shown that by taking measures to improve your sleep can help you lose weight.
Why Sleep Matters
When you sleep your body spends that time recovering from the day. Your organs, hormonal systems and your cells take your down time to regroup. If you’re not getting enough sleep or you’re not getting good quality sleep your body cannot recover. This means your body spends the day struggling.
Your metabolism is affected. Studies have found that people who sleep poorly eat more during the day. Some of this can be attributed to the fact that these people are turning to food for energy. However, it’s not really food they need, its better sleep. According to a study published on BBC News, researchers suggest “the key might be that sleep deprivation alters the balance of hormones which control the rate at which we burn off calories.”
It may also be that when you don’t get enough sleep your body switches to survival mode. It stores more fat. Not good for weight loss!
Regardless of the reasons behind the sleep/weight loss correlation the facts are the same. If you don’t get good sleep you’re more prone to weight gain.
How to Get Better Sleep
If you want to lose weight then, it makes sense to take measures to improve your sleep. Here are some tried and true success strategies to consider:
1. Don’t eat or drink two to three hours before bedtime. You’ll reduce your body’s need to digest and you won’t have to get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
2. Create a sleep ritual. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every night. Follow the same pattern of behavior. For example, when you go to bed you might brush your teeth, wash your face and read a book for ten minutes before turning the lights out.
3. Aim for seven hours of sleep a night.
4. Don’t use electronics in the bedroom. Electronics stimulate. You want to relax. Eliminate watching television, surfing or social networking on your mobile device before bed.
5. Avoid stimulants in the afternoon. If you routinely drink a cup of coffee or tea in the afternoon then consider switching to decaf. Or move your habit up an hour or two. Caffeine can stay in your system for several hours and can affect sleep.
If you’re not sleeping well and cannot improve your sleep with these simple steps consider seeking a doctor’s help. Good sleep is important for overall mental and physical health. Once you’re able to sleep better you will also find you’re better able to lose weight and burn fat.