If You Eat At Night Keep It Small
While you shouldn’t go to bed starving , you also shouldn’t hit the sack completely stuffed. When you eat a large meal before bed, your body is working to digest it long into the nightand if your body is still worked up, so are you. The later you fall asleep, the less rest you’ll get, and you’ll wake up feeling groggy and more likely to reach for calorie-dense items.
Instead of eating a monster meal for dinner, try to keep portions about the same as your breakfast and lunch, especially if you eat dinner on the later side. “You want to eat your last meal at least an hour or two before going to bed,” says Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN.
Metabolism Appetite And Sleep
Sleep influences two important appetite hormones in our body leptin and ghrelin.
Leptin is a hormone that decreases appetite, so when leptin levels are high we usually feel fuller. On the other hand, ghrelin is a hormone that can stimulate appetite, and is often referred to as the “hunger hormone” because it’s thought to be responsible for the feeling of hunger.
One study found that sleep restriction increases levels of ghrelin and decreases leptin.
Another study, which included a sample of 1,024 adults, also found that short sleep was associated with higher levels of ghrelin and lower levels of leptin. This combination could increase a person’s appetite, making calorie-restriction more difficult to adhere to, and may make a person more likely to overeat.
Consequently, increased food intake due to changes in appetite hormones may result in weight gain. This means that, in the long term, sleep deprivation may lead to weight gain due to these changes in appetite. So getting a good night’s sleep should be prioritised.
Along with changes in appetite hormones, reduced sleep has also been shown to impact on food selection and the way the brain perceives food.
Sleep duration also influences metabolism, particularly glucose metabolism.
The Bottom Line: Sleep Is A Promising Target For Obesity Prevention
There is convincing evidence that getting a less than ideal amount of sleep is an independent and strong risk factor for obesity, in infants and children as well as in adults. Most of the research thus far, however, has consisted of observational studies, and it remains to be seen whether teaching children or adults how to get a better nights sleep can lower their risk of obesity or help them lose weight. Randomized clinical trials that are currently underway may soon provide more answers.
Some researchers have cautioned against being too quick to promote sleep as an answer to the obesity epidemic, given the shortcomings of the research conducted to date. Yet from a public health perspective, there is little risk in encouraging healthy sleep through lifestyle changes, such as setting a consistent bedtime, limiting caffeine late in the day, and curtailing high-tech distractions in the bedroom. Good sleep habits have other benefits, too, like boosting alertness at school or work, improving mood, and enhancing overall quality of life. Thats all the more reason to put a long nights sleep on the short list for obesity prevention.
Don’t Miss: Sit And Sleep Phone Number
Diet And Exercise Aren’t The Only Things Needed To Lose Weighta Good Night’s Sleep Is Key Too
l i g h t p o e t/shutterstockQuickwhats the best way to lose weight? If you said diet and exercise, youre on the right track. But as it turns out, theres a super effective method for burning fat, and youre already doing it every day. In fact, the key to burning fat is so easy that you could do it in your sleep
One of the biggest mistakes that most people make is not sleeping enough, Shawn Arent, director of the Center for Health and Human Performance at Rutgers University, told Business Insider. Here are 9 more ways to lose weight in your sleep.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, your body repairs itself by releasing growth hormones while you sleep. Those hormones stimulate muscle and protein synthesis, as well as a fat breakdown process called lipolysis. Youll practically burn fat in your sleep if you eat this one food at night, too.
Since growth hormones tend to peak at night, not getting a good nights sleep cuts that essential process short. Research shows that only getting four or five hours of sleep a night can lead to obesity down the road. Here are even more of the worst habits for belly fat.
The solution? Ideally, you should sleep seven to nine hours per night to keep your body burning fat while you snooze.
The National Sleep Foundation generally recommends that adults sleep for seven to nine hours every night, in order to wake up refreshed and alert for the day ahead. Next, read about these tricks to flatten your belly without a lick of exercise.
Add Hand Or Ankle Weights To Your Walk
You don’t have to give up your daily walk in favor of strength training workouts simply pick up a pair of 1- to 3-pound dumbbells or strap on a pair of ankle weights to turn your walk into a strength training and cardio session in one. Since strength training is so important to building muscle and burning fat, squeezing a weight into your workouts when you can is a smart way to up your calorie-burning potential all day .
You May Like: Sleep Number 360 P6 Reviews
What Can Happen If You Dont Get Enough Sleep
Chronic lack of sleep can affect you in a number of surprising ways.
When youre tired, your body produces a hunger-stimulating hormone called ghrelin. At the same time, the hormone that makes you feel satisfied drops. As a result, you may have mad cravings for foods that are high in fat and carbohydrates, just because you havent been getting enough sleep.
Chances are, if youre fast asleep in bed, youre not eating . If you stay up late at night, you simply have more hours in the day to eat. And, late-night snacks can make you gain weight.
Sleep-deprived people rarely head to the gym. However, when youre well rested, you have more energy for physical activity. Even small amounts of exerciselike brisk 10-minute walksburns calories.
When your metabolism slows down, you burn fewer calories throughout the day when youre at rest. Getting the recommended amount of sleep each night can help increase your metabolism.
Banish Electronics From The Bedroom
To lose weight overnight, all blue light devices laptop, tablet and/or smartphone need to go. Studies have shown that nighttime exposure to the blue light they all emit disrupts the production of the melatonin the body needs to promote sleep. In addition, a study conducted by researchers at Northwestern University reported that blue light exposure at night increases hunger and insulin resistance, which can, of course, lead to weight gain and not just the disruption of the body’s fat-burning power.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Sleeping Pills Online
Role Of Sleep Duration And Quality On Weight Loss
If youre trying to lose weight, the chances are that exercise and diet are the areas that have got your focus.
However, youd be surprised to learn that how long and well you sleep also influences your weight. A study found that people who slept for about five hours or less were more likely to become obese than those who got between seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
Hunger hormones such as leptin and ghrelin seem to be the link between sleep and weight loss. Sleep deprivation could throw these hormones out of balance which could affect your appetite and increase your cravings for sweet foods.
So, if youre trying to lose weight in the long run, you might want to include a good nights rest as part of your strategies.
Here are a few tips to improve your sleep experience if youre finding it difficult to go to bed at night:
- Turn off the lights. That includes your phones and computers as blue light from these devices could affect your bodys melatonin production, which helps regulate your bodys sleep-wake cycle.
- Set a bedtime and stick to it. Developing a regular sleep schedule could help improve your sleep quality.
- Stay cool. You might find that youll sleep better when the temperatures are around 6670°F.
- Try relaxing. Relaxation techniques such as meditation, tea, and soothing music could help you fall asleep quicker and improve your sleep quality.
Big Meals Late At Night
It can be hard to eat enough calories while bulkingso hard that weve written entire guides about how to eat more calories. For me, its always been the hardest part of bulking. One solution I found was to eat a fairly normal amount during the day, have a regular dinner with my family, and then sneak in a large meal while relaxing before bed.
Eating large meals tends to make people feel sleepy, and so what better time to have a large meal than right before bed, right? Better to have a big meal late at night and then drift off to sleep than to eat a big breakfast and then need a siesta. Theres also some modest evidence showing that eating a meal containing protein before bed can improve muscle growth over time .
The problem with eating big meals late at nightespecially those rich in fats and carbsis that they can interfere with our sleep quality. Yes, we might feel tired and fall asleep more easily, but we might not sleep as deeply, we could run into issues with acid reflux, and large meals before bed have been linked to higher body-fat percentages . Anecdotally, having smaller night-time meals can also save us from waking up thirsty or having to tinkle in the middle of the night.
Nowadays, I do still have a meal before bed, but I try to pack more of my calories into my breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and then before bed, I stick to higher-protein meals, such as cottage cheese or Greek yogurt with berries.
Also Check: Ways To Force Yourself To Sleep
Throw Out The Night Light
Exposure to light at night doesn’t just interrupt your chances of a great night’s sleep, it may also result in weight gain according to a new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Study subjects who slept in the darkest rooms were 21 percent less likely to be obese than those sleeping in the lightest rooms.
That leads us to our next sleep-slimming trick.
Weight Loss Action Point
If you want to lose weight, you should make sure that you are getting sufficient sleep in addition to following a healthy diet and exercise program. For most of us, that means, you’ll need 7 hours or more a night.
- American Thoracic Society, International Conference, News release, San Diego, May 19-24, 2006.
- Patel SR, Malhotra A, White DP, Gottlieb DJ, Hu FB. Association between reduced sleep and weight gain in women. Am J Epidemiol. 2006 Nov 15 164:947-54. Shomon, Mary. The Thyroid Diet: Manage Your Metabolism for Lasting Weight Loss, HarperCollins. 2004.
- Spiegel K, Leproult R, Van Cauter E. “Impact of sleep debt on metabolic and endocrine function.” Lancet. 1999 354:1435-1439.
Potential Benefits For Your Metabolism
Getting enough sleep may help you avoid decreases in metabolism that can happen when you havent gotten enough sleep.
Your resting metabolic rate is the number of calories your body burns when at rest. Its affected by many factors, such as:
Therefore, more research is needed to determine whether and how sleep loss affects metabolism.
Lack of sleep may also suppress fat oxidation, which is the breakdown of fat cells into energy.
One study found that sleep deprivation resulted in significantly lower basal fat oxidation in people of different ages, sexes, and body composition. However, RMR was not affected .
It also seems that poor quality sleep may decrease muscle synthesis, which may lower RMR.
One small study showed muscle synthesis decreased significantly by 18% and plasma testosterone by 24% after one night of poor sleep. Additionally, cortisol significantly increased by 21%. Collectively, these conditions contribute to the breakdown of muscle .
However, this study was small and only 1 day long, which are major limitations. Furthermore, other studies suggest that sleep deprivation doesnt affect muscle repair and growth. Thus, longer and larger studies are needed (
It may also increase your risk of injury and delay recovery.
Ultimately, getting enough sleep is key to staying active.
Sleep And Weight Loss: A Dreamy Combination
Is sleep important for weight loss? Without a doubt! Your sleeping patterns influence your hormones and critical weight loss functions like your metabolism and appetite regulation. If youre confused about a recent plateau in your weight loss journey, take a look at your sleep schedule. Some more shut-eye may be just what you need.
Read Also: Do Skunks Sleep During The Day
Don’t Drink Before Bed
Bogan suggested limiting your intake of alcohol and other substances as they can cause sleep disruption . An evening cocktail may sound like it would be super relaxing, but even one alcoholic drink too close to bedtime can impede the body’s ability to burn calories. This is because instead of focusing on burning fat as it should, the body is busy trying to metabolize the alcohol instead. So while a glass of wine with dinner is OK, leave it at that.
Relax With Breathing Meditation Or Stretching
Striking some poses before bed can have a powerful influence on sleep quality because of yoga’s focus on breathing and meditation. “Yoga offers a variety of benefits, from increased flexibility and strength to a calmer mind,” says , director of yoga at TruFusion. He recommends the Deaf Man’s Pose.
“It can calm the nervous system, release the shoulders and neck and, most importantly, allows you to focus inward, block out stress and relax,” he says.
You May Like: Sleep Apnea Machine Payment Plan
Don’t Be A Cardio Junky
Cardio is great, and there are lots of good reasons it should be a part of an overall fitness plan. But strength training should be, too, especially for anyone who wants to take advantage of nocturnal weight loss. This is because strength training continues to burn calories after the session is over. A stop at the gym after work, or even a simple at-home strength workout can keep the body in calorie-burning mode all night long, even after bedtime.
Keeping a pair of dumbbells or a resistance band next to your bed is a good visual reminder to add in full-body strength training at least three times a week. Work the larger muscles, like the glutes and legs, as well as the arms, back and core.
Sleep Loss And Exercise
Exercise is a crucial component to losing weight, if thats your goal, as well as to staying healthy. But if youre not sleeping enough, you may not have the energy to get moving.
Although research on sleep loss and energy expenditure is lacking, sleepiness and fatigue tend to increase sedentary behavior. This, in turn, likely leads to less exercise and physical activity.
Read Also: Sleep Number Bed Best Time To Buy
How Sleep Affects Muscle Growth & Nutrient Partitioning
Before we dig into the details of improving our sleep, lets take a quick look at a study that measured body composition changes after ten weeks of lifting weights. Half of the participants were given just the weight training program, whereas the other half were also given advice about how to improve their sleep.
What were seeing is that simply teaching the study participants how to improve their sleep caused them to gain 30% more lean mass over the course of the ten-week study. But it gets even better. Look at the impact it had on their fat gains:
So what were seeing is that the participants who followed just the lifting program gained quite a bit of muscle along with a little bit of fat. And dont get me wrong, these are good results. Gaining five pounds in ten weeks, with three of those pounds being leanthats good.
But when we compare that against the participants who also improved their sleep, we see 30% more muscle growth along with simultaneous fat loss. They were building muscle more quickly while also losing fat. This proves that sleep is a powerful tool for improving nutrient partitioningfor shuttling the food were eating towards muscle growth instead of fat gain. Previous research found this same nutrient partitioning effect. And a third study found a possible mechanism for this: getting enough good sleep increases our muscle-protein synthesis.
Maintaining A Healthy Relationship With Your Body
Deciding if you should attempt to change your body weight is a personal decision best made with the guidance of your doctor. Dont take all the health and weight loss information you read online at face value. Weight loss isnt appropriate for everyone and doesnt always mean better health. Remember that health is a lifelong journey that includes not only healthy habits but also having a healthy relationship with your body. If youre considering weight loss, the National Institutes of Health offers a helpful resource for choosing a safe weight loss program.
- Was this article helpful?
Don’t Miss: Best Price On Sleep Number Bed