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Weight loss doesn’t just happen at the gym or in the kitchen, you can improve your weight loss results in the bedroom too. And although a healthy sex life is a great way to improve body image and burn calories, we don’t mean by getting hot under the covers with your partner! We’re talking about how you can sleep your way to better weight loss results by getting enough shut-eye. In fact, sleep is so important to weight loss that a recent study revealed that sleeping less than 7 hours a night can slow down weight loss by as much as 55 percent! Here we explain why sleep is so important to weight loss and some ways to improve sleep and lose while you snooze.
Sleep, or a lack of it, affects your health, body functions, and your ability to lose weight in many ways:
Firstly, not sleeping enough dulls activity in the brain’s frontal lobe – the area of decision making and impulse control – so, being tired makes it difficult to resist temptation and make healthy choices. To add to this problem, when you’re overtired, your brain’s reward centers are activated, making it crave unhealthy foods for easy sources of fat, sugar and salt. All in all, a sleep-deprived brain appears to crave junk food while also lacking the impulse control to say no.
Not only does a lack of sleep mess with your brain’s ability to make decisions, it also causes an imbalance in hormones which send signals relating to hunger and satiety to the brain. Without enough sleep, the body begins to make more of the hormone ghrelin, which tells your brain when it’s time to eat, and at the same time, your body produces less leptin, the hormone which tells your brain when you’re full, meaning that your already struggling brain has even more to deal with.
A lack of sleep also plays havoc with the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol signals your body to conserve energy to fuel your extra waking hours, causing your body to break down lean muscle (the type of tissue which helps burn calories more efficiently), meaning that your metabolism slows down and that you’re more likely to hang onto fat – particularly belly fat. A study from the University of Chicago found that dieters getting 8 hours of sleep per night lost 50% more fat and 50% less muscle mass than dieters sleeping for around 5 hours a night. Losing muscle makes it harder to keep weight off in the long term, leading to weight fluctuations and yo-yo dieting.
Another study found that normal sleepers’ resting energy expenditure – the amount of calories burned when not moving -was five percent higher than their tired counterparts, and they also burned 20% more calories after a meal versus sleep-deprived people. So, not getting enough sleep causes your metabolism to slow down and contributes to an increase in body fat, meaning that despite your hard work with diet and exercise, a lack of sleep counteracts these efforts and may stall your weight loss or even result in weight gain.
It may seem obvious but if you’re awake for longer, as well as the lack of ability to resist temptation and misplaced hunger cues, you also have the extra time to eat more food. What’s more, due to your tired brain’s cravings for easy calories, more of these late-night calories came from high-fat foods, rather than the healthy foods consumed during the daytime.
These seven tips will help you sleep more and lose weight while you’re off in dreamland:
Tryptophan, an amino acid found in meats like chicken and turkey, has demonstrated powerful sleep-inducing effects. A recent study among insomniacs found that just 1/4 gram—about what you’ll find in a skinless chicken drumstick or three ounces of lean turkey meat—was enough to significantly increase hours of deep sleep.
You should also try to expel the excess energy that Phen Caps gives you by adding more activity to your day. As well as helping you to tone up and burn fat, exercise aids sleep by helping to regulate circadian rhythms and balance out hormones which help you sleep.
You should also try to disconnect as much as possible in the hours before bedtime with a reduced use of smartphones, computers and televisions and try reading or taking a hot bath instead. Studies show that people who are more likely to take devices into the bedroom have more disrupted sleep patterns and are more likely to be overweight.
You may not have heard of 5-HTP but it’s present in all of our bodies and is crucial to help regulate sleep, appetite and mood. 5-HTP is a serotonin pre-cursor, which means that it is used by the body to make serotonin, the hormone which lifts mood and signals when we’re full. In fact, 5-HTP is a natural aid to sleep which has also been shown to improve the effectiveness of weight loss medications such as phentermine.
Exposure to light at night doesn’t just interrupt your chances of a great night’s sleep, it may also result in weight gain according to a new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Study subjects who slept in the darkest rooms were 21 percent less likely to be obese than those sleeping in the lightest rooms.
Lavender is famed for its sleep-inducing properties. Lavender scents tend to improve the overall sleep quality for a variety of ages and genders. However, the smell is typically most effective on women, younger people, and those with mild insomnia. If you’re not a fan of lavender, chamomile, vanilla and jasmine have all been found to have calming effects that promote rest and relaxation. If you don’t want to run the risk of falling asleep with a burning candle, you can spray your bed linen with your favorite sleepy scent, drift off into a sweetly scented sleep with a few drops of essential oil on a handkerchief underneath your pillow, or use some scented oil as a hand moisturizer before bed.
In the colder months we tend to feel cold going to bed, which can make it difficult to get to sleep, and then in the early hours of the morning, feeling cold can cause us to wake up earlier than desired. Make it easier to get to sleep by wearing easily-removed layers and socks if you suffer from cold feet, but leave off the heating as sleeping in a cooler room helps to burn through belly fat, as one study found.
Despite experts agreeing that getting enough sleep is as important to health, well-being and your weight as diet and exercise, nearly two-thirds of Americans aren’t getting enough sleep during a typical week. As we’ve seen above, a lack of sleep can be detrimental to your ability to lose weight, so it’s important to include between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. Unlike phentermine (Adipex) and other weight loss medications which cause insomnia, Phen Caps have no side effects so although they give you a boost of energy to motivate and inspire you to exercise, they don’t leave you struggling to sleep. In fact, if you follow these tips and take Phen Caps to kick start your weight loss journey to success, you should sleep like a log and lose even more weight in the process!