Many of us want to lose weight, but did you know that you can shed some of those unwanted pounds while you get your beauty rest? Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me; all you have to do is sleep, and the pounds just melt away. Of course, you will need to form certain habits in order to optimize your body for weight loss during sleep, but once you have them down, you can literally drop the pounds while you doze away.
Here’s how you can literally lose weight in your sleep:
Have protein before bed
According to a study done by researchers at Florida State University, men who had a protein shake with at least 30 grams of protein before bed had a higher resting energy expenditure the following morning compared to those who ate nothing before going to sleep. Protein can also aid in muscle repair, which greatly benefits those who lift heavy weights or do other forms of strenuous exercise.
Make your room as dark as possible
According to a study in the Journal of Pineal Research, complete darkness allows the body to produce the hormone melatonin, which not only promotes sleep, but also enhances the process of calorie burning. In order to fill your room with darkness, get blackout curtains if you live near security lights, cover alarm clocks and other devices that emit light, and turn off the TV before going to bed. Even small lights can disrupt sleep, so make sure to create a peaceful, sleep-inducing environment so you can get to bed easier at night.
Set a comfortable temperature for sleep
If we have to get up at all hours of the night to adjust the temperature, we will lose valuable time that we could’ve used sleeping. Before going to bed, make sure to set the thermostat at a temperature that feels comfortable to you, not matter if you like it on the cooler or hotter side. According to research published in the journal Diabetes, those who slept in rooms with a temperature of 66 degrees burned 7 percent more calories than those who slept in warmer rooms.
Their bodies had to work harder to raise their core temperature to 98.6 degrees, which helps to burn calories. 7 percent equates to about 100 calories burned during sleep, so make sure to keep your room cool if you’d like to lose weight while you sleep!
Turn off technology
No surprise here, right? Laying in bed scrolling through Facebook, texting people, or watching YouTube videos makes our brains think we need to stay awake, when we really need to get to sleep. The bright blue lights from phones, computers and tablets literally sends signals to our brains that we need to remain awake, because out in nature, the light from the sun would tell us to wake up. So, naturally, any artificial light promotes the same response.
These lights disrupt the body’s production of melatonin, and therefore, can impact the metabolism. Researchers from Singapore also linked long television watching sessions to higher triglycerides and lower adiponectin, which can lead to diabetes and difficulty in regulating glucose levels.
So, make sure to keep your time on technology to a minimum during the day, and try to get as much natural light as possible.
Set a bedtime
Getting to bed at a regular time each night allows our bodies to get used to a routine. Sleep heals our bodies, allowing vital hormones to be released and cells to be repaired. Adults need around 7-8 hours of sleep per night, and one of the best ways to ensure you get adequate sleep is to stick to a schedule. Avoid staying up late binge-watching shows or scrolling through Facebook; you can do these activities, of course, but make sure to turn off technology a couple hours before bed. Many studies have linked sleep deprivation to weight gain, obesity, diabetes, and other health-related illnesses, so start up a bedtime routine so that you can prepare your body for sleep each night.
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According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who got adequate sleep burned 20 percent more calories after eating than those who weren’t well-rested. Also, they had a 5 percent higher resting energy expenditure, which tells us that sleep and calories burned certainly go hand-in-hand.