One of the most effective ways to lose weight is to get a quality night's sleep. Studies have shown that dieters who get at least 8 hours of sleep lose twice as much weight as those who are sleeping for fewer than 6. Your bedtime routine has a big impact on weight loss due to quality sleep. Here are six ways to help boost weight loss through your nighttime practices.
It may be easier to fall asleep if you are slightly cold. Research has suggested that when people sleep with the room temperature set to 66.2 degrees, they are able to convert some of their white fat that stores calories into brown fat that burns calories. This is because brown fat is in charge of heating the body, so as the body works to heat itself throughout the night, it will be burning calories as well.
Have Some Dairy
Aside from keeping you full through the night, a glass of milk or cup of yogurt before bed can help you build muscle throughout the night. Dairy is full of casein, which is a slow-digesting protein that keeps the muscles full of amino acids. This helps the muscles build lean mass throughout the night. Because building muscle is the best way to increase metabolism and burn calories, this will help shed some pounds.
Create the Right Lighting
Bright lights in a room can halt the body's production of melatonin, which helps us sleep. Not only can bright lights keep you from falling asleep, they can also cause you to be more restless throughout the night. If you want to maximize your benefit of sleeping along with the lack of light, begin dimming the lights around the house with the sun. This way, you are not spending the hours in the evening in bright lights missing out of the production of melatonin.
Wind Down Alone
While it may be difficult with a busy schedule, it is important to take about a half an hour before bed to quietly relax alone, preparing your body for sleep. Try doing yoga or sitting down with a good book to help protect your energy. This will help you ease into sleep faster and more naturally.
You should not do intense exercises too close to bed time, as that can backfire by giving your body more energy. Instead, do some light stretching or yoga before going to sleep to help the body relax.
Deep, meditative breathing can help to further relax the body before bed. Take slow and complete deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. These breaths should raise and lower the belly, which will reduce tension in the body and help you fall asleep.
Alcohol may initially help you to fall asleep, but it certainly won't help you stay asleep. Alcohol can interfere with the quality of sleep during the second half of the night. This happens because your body is working to metabolize the sugar in alcoholic drinks, which isn't conducive to rest. This results in longer stages of light sleep, decreased REM sleep, and broken up dream sleep. Studies have shown that disruptions in the wave patterns of a sleeping brain after consuming alcohol are similar to mild electric shocks.