Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to sleep away the pounds you’re trying to lose? All you’ll have to do is curl up in bed for a few extra hours a day, and when you wake up you’ll be a whole lot skinnier? Unfortunately for all sleep-lovers out there, it’s not that simple. It is, however, possible to improve your weight loss by sleeping properly. Read on to find out how your sleep affects your weight loss, and how you can sleep right to lose weight!
How Sleep Affects Weight Loss
Studies have shown that a lack of sleep can affect your weight in a number of ways.
To begin with, a lack of sleep causes an increase in your appetite. The “tired” signals your brain sends to your body are usually interpreted as “hunger”, so you end up feeling the need to eat when really all your brain wants is for you to sleep a little bit more.
Secondly, a lack of sleep lowers your energy levels. You need energy to be able to do exercise, but low energy levels often cause your body to crave a quick source of sugar. You may end up snacking on the wrong things thanks to your lack of sleep.
You’ll find that not enough sleep will prevent your body from repairing itself from your workout the previous day. You run a greater risk of injuring yourself or tearing muscle fibers, as you didn’t give your body enough time to repair the muscle fibers that have been broken down in yesterday’s workout.
A lack of sleep causes your body to release the stress hormone cortisol, which screws with your central nervous system. It stimulates the production of blood sugar, and it can cause your brain to feel hungry. It also tells your fat cells that they need to store more fat – causing you to gain weight.
What You Can Do To Lose Weight While Sleeping
Sleeping right doesn’t just prevent weight gain – it makes weight loss easier. If you want to lose weight while sleeping, here are a few sneaky tricks to try:
Sleep In — Studies have shown that overweight people sleep for 16 minutes less every day than their healthy counterparts. Could sleeping more be the key to weight loss? Why not take an extra 30 minutes of sleep every day for the next couple of months and find out?
Try Casein as a Night Snack — Casein is a slow-acting protein that takes your body a lot longer to turn into amino acids for your muscles, but that could be good. Taking a bit of casein protein before bed can help to keep your metabolism burning all night long, and you’ll rise and shine with more energy thanks to the protein. Cottage cheese is a great source of casein, and can be a tasty alternative to protein powder.
Do Weight Training — Cardio is great to burn fat, but it’s the resistance training that really works to help you shed those pounds. Building muscles increases your metabolic rate, which in turn burns more calories every day. If you want to burn some extra fat at night, try doing a bit of weight training before bed. It’s usually counter-indicated by trainers, but it has been proven to help burn more fat overnight.
Cut Your Meal Sizes — Eating one large meal a day isn’t the wisest choice if you’re trying to burn fat or lose weight. Smaller meals spread throughout the day will help to speed up your metabolism all day long – as well as all night long.