LOSE WEIGHT WHILE YOU sleep
Did you know that better zzzs can help you lose weight? Here are five ways to help shape up your sleep and slim down!
There’s a lot to love about getting a good night’s sleep. In addition to boosting your mood, “studies show a strong link between sleep deficit and the development or worsening of diabetes”, says Professor Michael Hensley from John Hunter Hospital in NSW. “And too little sleep increases your risk of weight gain due to changes in hormones that can increase both fat storage and appetite.”
To help you nod off faster and enjoy a better night’s rest, try these sleep-friendly solutions before bedtime.
1 Get moving!
Studies show that getting regular exercise leads to sound sleep and a slimmer waistline. One of the best ways to get results is to give interval training a try. “Alternating periods of highintensity exercise with low helps the body produce catecholamines – chemicals that turn on the body’s fat-burning process,” says Assoc Prof Boutcher. For tips on adding intervals to your workout, turn to page 80.
2 Turn off technology
According to Siobhan Banks, associate professor at the University of South Australia’s Centre for Sleep Research, the bright lights in your computer can interfere with your body’s ability to produce melatonin – a hormone that helps to facilitate sleep. Her tip? Avoid computer use for several hours before bedtime. And avoid other distractions by switching off your mobile phone and tablet, too.
3 Have an early dinner
Eating about four hours before bedtime is another way of safeguarding your zzzs, as having late meals can raise your body temperature, which in turn affects your ability to fall asleep. In addition, cutting back on late dinners can help you avoid
the indigestion that comes with laying down on a full stomach, explains dietitian Melanie McGrice.
4 Keep your cool
Ensuring that your bedroom is cool and dark will help to enhance the quality of your sleep. Switch off any electric blankets you may use, remove any extra layers of clothing before you hit the hay, and further make sure that there’s no light coming in from the street. It’s also good to have a relaxing soak in a warm – not hot – bath close to your bedtime. “The warmth actually causes a temperature drop, which can help sleep onset,” explains Banks.
5 Enjoy an al fresco brekkie
“A morning dose of sunlight helps synchronise your hormones with light and dark, so that you get tired in the evening and have more alertness in the morning,” explains Banks. Win-win!