Sleep Your Way to Skinny

 How Better Sleep Helps You Burn Fat

Sleep and rejuvenationYou may or may not realize that sleep, or lack of, affects your weight. Many studies show that people who sleep well usually weigh less than those who toss and turn. Other studies have shown that by taking measures to improve your sleep, you will lose weight.

Why Sleep Matters

Sleeping helps your body recover from the day. It gives your organs, hormonal systems and your cells time to regroup. If you’re not sleeping well and not feeling rested upon waking, then your body is not getting what it needs to rejuvenate. What happens next is that your body spends the day struggling to function optimally.
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Interestingly, your metabolism slows, yet you tend to eat more. Some of this can be attributed to your body trying to turn food into energy. You feel hungry for carbs and sugars, but it’s not really food that you need — it’s better sleep.
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According to a study published on BBC News researchers suggest, “the key might be that sleep deprivation alters the balance of hormones that control the rate at which we burn off calories.”  It is also true that lack of sleep switches your body to survival mode, and stores fat. So what can you do?

 How to Get Better Sleep

If you are trying to lose weight, then it makes sense to try to improve your sleep. Here are several tried and true success strategies to try:
  1. Don’t eat or drink two to three hours before bedtime. You’ll give your body a break from having to digest a large amount of foods. Your sleep will be more sound if your body can relax. Side benefit:  you won’t have to get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
  2. Create a sleep ritual. Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time every day. Do the same things each night. For example, brush your teeth, wash your face, and read a book for ten minutes before turning the lights out.
  3. Try to sleep seven hours each night, but don’t oversleep.
  4. Remove all electronic devices from your bedroom, as they tend to stimulate your brain. This would include TV, iPad, mP3 players, laptops and phones. Give your body and mind a chance to relax and sleep without beeps, lights, and/or sounds that wake you.
  5. Do not take any food or beverage in the afternoon that has a stimulant in it. If you normally have a coffee or tea in the afternoon then switch to decaf. Caffeine can stay in your system for several hours and can definitely affects the quality of your sleep.
If you’re not sleeping well and you’ve tried all of the above, visit your doctor. Good sleep is this important. Your mental, emotional, and physical health depends on your sleep.
Side benefit:  Once you’re able to sleep better you will also find you’re better able to lose weight and burn fat.

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