You can easily stimulate weight loss while you sleep by simply the size, content and timing of your last meal of the day. Far way too many people use dinner time as an excuse to consume large fattening meals; eating unhealthy, high-calorie foods like hamburgers, fried chicken and pasta only an hour or two before turning in for the night.
By ingesting such a massive quantity of calories before bed our bodies can’t turn these huge meals into useful meals instead these foods become harmful fats and effectively slow down our metabolism which leads directly to weight gain.
Luckily, this kind of overnight weight gain is easy to avoid by simply changing what you eat and how much of it you consume. Instead of eating red meat or steak which are high in cholesterol and saturated fat, try to consume lighter proteins like chicken, salmon or beans.
Focus on supplying your body with foods like bananas and oats that are high in energy and make you feel full so you won’t feel the need to eat so many calories. Once you have adjusted the size and content of your dinner, try moving it up at least three to four hours before bed.
Also read: 20 Foods that’ll help you lose belly fat
A number of scientific studies (1, 2, 3) have shown that people, who eat dinner earlier, are able to process food more efficiently, which encourages weight loss and increases their overall metabolic rate.
Cutting out a nightly cookie or a bowl of ice cream can be a great way to prevent weight gain and burn more calories while you are sleeping. Desserts may seem like small harmless snacks but even one or two scoops of ice cream can impair white blood cells, discourage muscle growth and most importantly promote weight gain.
Well, the obvious answer is that it tastes really good while the healthier alternatives may not seem nearly as appetizing. But the taste is not the only reason why nearly all the population is eating deserts most nights before bed.
The high volume in sugar in most deserts functions a lot like a drug activating opiate receptors in the brain and stimulating our reward centre. This is what gives us the infamous “sugar high” which provides people with the quick and fleeting burst of energy. But is that really what you want right before bed?
On top of experiencing negative consequences like headaches and hormonal imbalance; deserts cause energy dips which is when our blood sugar hits high highs and low lows. Even if you experience these dips in the middle of the day, they can ruin the quality of your sleep and inhibit your body from burning calories overnight.
After you get home from school or work chances are you want to relax by jumping onto your computer, turning on the TV, or just looking through your phone. What a lot of people don’t realize is these bad electronics habits may not only be significantly affecting their sleep but also hindering their activity to lose weight.
Well, electronics essentially interfere with your body’s circadian rhythm– an internal clock that determines sleeping and eating patterns. When your brain believes it’s time to sleep, it reduces a sleep-inducing hormone called melatonin which queues the rest of your body to start powering down.
Electronics disrupt this important pre-sleep process by confusing our internal clock with artificial blue light, which actually mimics sunlight. Because our brains are fooled to thinking its daytime, it suppresses the production of melatonin and tries to keep us awake for longer therefore when you use electronics right before bed you make it harder for your body to properly prepare and dive into a deep sleep.
Well, it’s no secret that there is a significant correlation between individuals with poor sleeping habits and people struggling to maintain a healthy weight. It’s easy to forget how large of a role sleep plays in the weight loss process because so much of the information out there is focused on changing your diet and performing regular exercise.
While those two are important; a good night sleep acts as a stable foundation by supplying you with the energy you need to lose the weight. Studies have also shown that a loss of sleep limits the production of another important hormone called cortisol which is responsible for regulating our appetite.
Without a good night’s sleep, our body has trouble telling us when to stop eating; making it difficult to feel satisfied after a meal and control our portions. So, next time you are debating whether to watch a movie before bed; think about the effects that your device may be having on your sleep especially if you are hoping to shed a few pounds.
If you absolutely have to look at some sort of screen before you go to bed just lowering the brightness can have a significant effect on weight loss during sleep. Many phones and computers, even have a setting that allows you to change the type of light your screen emits which prevents your brain from stopping the production of melatonin.
How to sleep better and feel more refreshed
If you are hoping to burn more calories overnight, you can effectively boost your metabolism by consuming a high volume of proteins before going to sleep. But wait didn’t you just say that you shouldn’t eat right before bed? Won’t all that excess protein make you gain weight?
The truth is that protein actually encourages weight loss by jump-starting your metabolic rate at night and in the morning. Unlike carbohydrates or fats, protein requires our bodies to burn more calories during digestion.
Protein also effectively stimulates muscle growth by increasing the frequency of protein synthesis and encouraging muscle repair which our bodies typically perform while we are asleep.
In other words, consuming proteins before you go for bed helps your body remain healthy and active even when you are completely unconscious. When putting this technique into practice, it is important to determine how many total calories you should be consuming every day.
If you are going to add a nightly protein shake to your diet, you need to make sure that you are not suddenly increasing your caloric intake by 200 or 300 calories every night. So make sure you are subtracting the same amount from lunch, dinner or midday snack to keep your total calories where they should be.
Believe it or not but approximately, 20% of adults in the United States use some form of alcohol to help them fall asleep hoping that the drowsiness induced by the alcohol consumption will fight insomnia.
The truth is, however, alcohol might induce sleep but it interferes with your ability to experience a healthy sleep cycle. During the average eight-hour sleep cycle people enter states of both rem and non-rem which alternate back and forth about four times throughout the night.
Both of these states are both crucial to reap the benefits of a healthy sleep cycle for a variety of reasons. Non-rem is sleep is essentially responsible for ushering you into a deep sleep. During the initial stages, your body adjusts a number of different biological functions like body temperature and heart rate.
Once you move into deep sleep, your body strengthens its immune system, builds muscle and bone, regrows tissues and performs general repairs. This is especially important for younger individuals whose bodies are constantly expanding. Approximately, 90 minutes after you fall asleep, you experience your first bit of rem sleep during which your brain becomes extremely active. This when your brain stores memories, stimulates learning and maintains your mood. If you have ever heard a teacher tell you to get a full 8 hours sleep before a test instead of cramming all night this is why.
While alcohol consumption might be an effective way to get to sleep, it increases wakefulness by reducing the duration of both rem and non-rem sleep cycles which effectively lessens our body’s ability to perform physical and mental maintenance. This loss can make all the difference for someone looking to lose weight because your body will not only fail to burn those extra calories, but you will miss out on the benefits of all that time in the gym.
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night covered in sweat? This is actually a common phenomenon because warmer temperatures generally interfere with our ability to enter and maintain a proper sleep cycle.
But that is not all; a recent study analyzed the sleep cycles and nightly weight loss of a sample of men over four months. For the first month, they spent every night sleeping in a room kept at 75 degrees which was used as the study’s control. For the second month, the researchers reduced the temperature to 66 degrees, creating a colder sleeping environment to see if the reduced temperature had any effects on their sleep quality in general health.
During the third month, the men went back to the control at 75 degrees until the fourth month when the temperature was increased to over 80 degrees. So, what were the results?
Well, the researchers found that men across the board experienced significantly more fat loss when sleeping during the second month when they sleep in the coldest environment. Not only did they see losses in fat but researchers also noticed a decrease in their sensitivity to insulin which actually lowers their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
So, if you are looking for an efficient way to lose weight, while you sleep, so do yourself a favour and turn down the thermostat before bed.