An investigative look at why you may lose weight while sleeping plus how to sleep better at night.
Can you really lose weight while you sleep? Sounds almost too good to be true doesn’t it! Even though it may seem a little crazy, recent studies have shown that how much and the quality of sleep you get each night may help you lose weight.
Lose Weight While You Sleep
So, just how does a good night’s rest help you lose weight? When we sleep at night there are two hormones, leptin and ghrelin, that are stimulated. These two hormones control whether we feel hungry and full. When we get quality sleep for a good length of time, leptin levels are driven upward, causing us to feel fuller after meals and ghrelin levels are driven downward, which lowers our appetite.
So you can see what happens when we don’t get good quality sleep. The next day you may constantly feel hungry regardless of the amount of food you eat. Ever had days like that before?
How Much Sleep Do I Need?
The recommended amount of sleep to get a night is between 7 to 9 hours for adults and even more for children and teens. And I’m talking about “quality” sleep, meaning if you lay in bed for 8 hours but are restless and only sleep 5 hours, then you’re not getting 8 quality hours of sleep.
Getting A Good Night’s Rest
Having troubles getting your 8 hours a night? You’re not alone as millions of people suffer from the same thing. First, if you think you might be suffering from a serious sleep disorder then contact your physician. A lot of times, however, just by changing a few daily habits you can increase the amount and quality of sleep you get every night.
Achieving good, quality sleep begins as soon as you wake up. That’s right, many of the secret’s to a good night’s rest are achieved during the day, before you even think about going to bed.
Sleep longer and better next time you go to bed by:
Exercising – Exercise has been shown to help people sleep better at night. You don’t have to start a rigorous exercise regimen, but rather go for a walk, a bike ride or take up a hobby that requires a little physical activity.
Skipping the nap – Napping during the day is a great way to ruin a good night’s rest. While some can get away with it, many can’t, so if you’re having troubles sleeping at night and you happen to take naps try either skipping the nap completely or lay down for thirty minutes or less. Usually a quick 20 minute nap is all the body needs.
Watching your caffeine and nicotine intake – Caffeine and nicotine both can cause one to be restless at night. Try completely eliminating caffeine from your diet. If giving up your morning coffee is not an option, then make a cut off time and don’t intake any caffeine after noon.
Smoking can cause sleep troubles for numerous reasons. The nicotine in cigarettes is a stimulant and people can actually go through nicotine withdrawals at night keeping them awake. Quitting smoking could possibly be the best thing you do for your health so give it a shot.
Sometimes no matter how tired you are you just can’t seem to get a good night’s rest. If you can truly identify with this then take a look around your room. There are many things around your room that may be causing you to lose sleep such as:
Bed – Is your bed large enough? Do you wake up in the middle of the night with a sore back? Is your neck sore in the morning? These are just a few of the signs that you may need a new bed, pillow or bedding.
Noise – Construction work, TV and kids are just a few of the many reasons you can’t sleep. If the noise can’t be eliminated try running a fan, or use a white noise machine, earplugs, or get a tranquil sounds CD.
Light – Do you have a street light shining through your window? Or a night light that’s a little too bright? Try hanging thick curtains over the window or use a mask when you sleep.
Temperature – Whether it’s too hot or too cold, you could be losing sleep because of the temperature. Try running a fan if your too hot, or use extra blankets if you’re cold. Set your thermostat at a comfortable temperature, as well.
When it’s finally time to hit the sack and get some good sleep there are a few things you can do to maximize the quality of the sleep you are about to get.
Routine – Getting yourself in a regular sleep routine will help you sleep at night. Try to fall asleep at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. And make sure to follow this routine on weekends, as well.
Stress – Stress caused by worrying or anxiety causes our body to release chemicals that keep us alert, thus making it hard to fall or stay asleep. Try not to think about those things that worry you or make you anxious in the hours leading up to your bedtime. Try writing down the things you are thinking about so you can handle them the next day or take your mind off your worries by reading a book or listening to soft music.
Preparing to sleep – At the end of the day it’s a good idea to “wind down” to help you sleep at night. This might include knitting or doing a puzzle, meditating, reading a book, or whatever soothing activity you enjoy.
Turn off the TV – Try removing the TV from the bedroom or turn it off an hour or so before you go to bed. TV acts more as stimulant and doesn’t calm one down before bedtime. Even if you’re watching a calming show the commercials, which are designed to grab attention, can be loud and jarring.