Set An Earlier Bedtime
Later bedtimes have been linked to several factors that promote weight gain, including more late-night snacking and a stronger preference for high-calorie foods. Research has demonstrated a relationship between going to bed later and gaining weight. Whats behind this connection? There are likely to be several factors at play. Among them, staying up later simply leaves us with more waking time to eat, and to be tempted by the most calorie-dense foods . Self-controlwhat we often think of as willpoweris a deeply complicated cognitive process, one that scientists are still working to understand.
Are we less able to resist ice cream and cookies and potato chips at night, after a long day of decision-making, discipline, and focus? Probably soand studies show that for people who are sleep deprived, cravings for junk food become even harder to resist. But theres little question that removing the temptation is easier than resisting itand thats what an earlier bedtime can do. More time in the evenings sleeping means less time available for snacking, at the time when many of us are most tempted.
With so many of us chronically sleep deprived, an earlier bedtime also helps ensure that we get enough sleep on a nightly basis. A single night of insufficient sleep can send hunger hormones from spiking, sending our appetites on the rise. Being short on sleep also makes us more prone to stress and for many of us, to emotional eating.
Sleep In A Cool Bedroom
Keeping your bedroom cool is one of the most comfortable, relaxing, sleep-promoting choices you can make for your nightly sleep environment. A cool bedroom can help you sleep better, able to fall asleep faster and wake less often throughout the night. A cool nighttime environment also encourages your body to burn more calories. And, as studies show, a colder bedroom stimulates the production of beige and brown fats, which burn energy , and help to protect metabolic health.
Whats behind the connection between a cool bedroom, sound sleep, and weight loss? Staying cool at night stimulates your metabolism. Essentially, you need to burn more calories to keep warm.
As Ive talked about before, a cool environment is naturally more conducive for sleep. By cool, Im talking about a bedroom temperature of between 62-68 degrees Fahrenheit, with the optimal temperature being right in the middle, at about 65 degrees. In the evenings as we move closer to sleep, our bodies undergo a natural, gradual drop in temperature. Sleeping in a cool room can enhance that natural body temperature decline that is part of our transition to sleep. The fall in body temperature that happens in this transition to sleep occurs alongside the rise in melatonin thats both essential for sleep and helpful to weight control.
How To Lose Weight Overnight
This article was co-authored by Tara Coleman. Tara Coleman is a Clinical Nutritionist who has a private practice in San Diego, California. With over 15 years of experience, Tara specializes in sports nutrition, body confidence, and immune system health and offers personalized nutrition, corporate wellness, and online learning courses. She received a BS in Biology from James Madison University and spent six years in the pharmaceutical industry as an analytical chemist before founding her practice. Tara has been featured on NBC, CBS, Fox, ESPN, and Dr. Oz The Good Life as well as in Forbes, Cosmopolitan, Self, and Runners World.There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 347,801 times.
Throughout the night our bodies lose between 1 to 2 pounds. Most of the weight lost is water weight. While a sleep diet will not provide you with incredible weight loss results, getting a great night sleep each night can make it easier to shed the pounds.XResearch source
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Sleeping On Your Stomach
One of the best positions for weight loss at night is sleeping on your stomach. So if youre someone who sleeps on their stomach naturally, then this is excellent news for you!
When you sleep on your stomach, it forces you to use many essential muscles that help with digestion and weight loss. When these muscles are used more throughout the night, they release more hormones that help burn calories and fat and remove toxins and waste.
The problem with sleeping on your stomach is that youll want to make sure you arent putting any pressure on your digestive organs. If you do, it may be uncomfortable and put too much stress on them throughout the night.
Sleep Quality And Duration
Though many of the most effective weight loss strategies focus on diet and exercise alone, early research suggests that the quality and quantity of your sleep may also play a big role in your bodys ability to regulate its weight.
Several population based studies have found an association between chronic sleep deprivation and higher body mass index , which is an indicator of your weight in relation to your height .
One study in adults aged 6799 found that those who slept 5 or fewer hours per night were, on average, 3 times more likely to develop obesity, compared with those who got 78 hours of sleep per night (
Thus, it may be worth prioritizing adequate sleep as part of your weight loss plan.
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A Single Sleep Counseling Intervention Helped People Sleep Longer
For the study, Dr. Tasali recruited 80 adults who were classified as overweight with a body mass index between 25 and 29.9. The group, with an average age of about 30, reported they regularly slept fewer than 6.5 hours per night.
After two weeks of monitoring study participants sleep habits at home via wrist sensors, Tasali and her team divided the group into two categories: a control arm that continued with their regular sleep routine, and a study arm, which received a single one-on-one sleep counseling intervention. During the session, Tasali helped the study participants carve out a personalized sleep plan to work in an hour of extra sleep each night.
Both groups then slept at home for another two weeks with wrist actigraphs recording their sleeping patterns. Seventy percent of those who received sleep counseling had full-time or part-time jobs and for most, changing their sleep habits meant getting into bed earlier each night. Putting away phones, laptops, and other electronic devices before bedtime was another big factor that helped people in this group get that extra hour of sleep each night, Tasali says.
Among the control group, caloric intake increased by about 115 calories per day on average.
About 270 to 300 calories is the equivalent of a McDonalds cheeseburger or a little bit less than the calories in four large eggs.
Why Do I Lose Weight While I Sleep
The main thing that is changing overnight is the amount of water in your system. It’s amazing how much water weighs! A gallon of water weighs 8 pounds, and a pint of water weighs 1 pound . This means that if you drink a 1-liter bottle of soda, you instantly gain 1 kilogram from the water! That’s a big weight change, and it can happen very quickly.
Overnight, there are two processes that cause you to lose water gradually. The first is respiration. Each time you exhale, you lose a little bit of water . The second is transpiration through the skin, also known as sweating. Over the course of a night, both of these processes eliminate quite a bit of water.
Then there is the tradition of using the restroom prior to the morning weigh-in. That process can eliminate up to 1 pound of water.
According to this water information page, the average person eliminates about 1.2 liters of water in urine each day, and also eliminates about 1 liter a day through perspiration and respiration. That’s 2.2 kilograms of weight fluctuation happening throughout the day!
Originally Published: Sep 24, 2009
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How Much Sleep Do I Really Need
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that most healthy adults strive to get between seven and nine hours of sleep a night. We know, this is often easier said than done.
While the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services points out that getting enough sleep can help you maintain a healthy weight, the organization also lists plenty of other benefits to getting enough sleep. Those include:
- Getting sick less often
- Reducing stress and improving your mood
- Thinking more clearly and doing better in school and at work
- Getting along better with people
- Making good decisions
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.
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Sleep Is Worth Its Weight In Gold
You can see that by taking steps to improve your sleep, you also get the added benefit of better controlled weight. If you feel that youâre struggling with your sleep, talk to us here at Sleepstation. Weâll work with you to get to the root of your sleep problem and to address whatâs coming between you and a good nightâs sleep.
If you have a sleep problem and have noticed that your weightâs been creeping up you might find yourself pleasantly surprised that, by improving your sleep, you can also gain better control over your willpower, food choices and, ultimately, your weight!
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Dehydration saps your mood and energy, making your feel tired and more prone to reach for comfort foods for a pick-me-up, says Ansel. What’s more, downing a couple of glasses before a meal has been shown to help people eat less. Aim to drink at least 72 ounces of water every day, and another eight ounces for every 30 minutes you workout, she says.
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Get Light Exposure Early In The Day
Evening light exposure interferes with melatonin productionand that can make it easier for our bodies put on weight. But light exposure isnt all bad for sleep and weight. Far from it. Early in the day exposure to light helps to strengthen our daily, 24-hour circadian rhythms, in part by reinforcing the natural decline of melatonin that happens to us every morning. When melatonin levels drop, you become more alert and ready to be active. That sends you into your day more energizedand apt to burn more calories throughout the day.
Morning light also sends powerful cues to your brain that help keep your daily bio rhythms in sync. These circadian bio rhythms exert a great deal of control over sleep-wake patterns. Your next nights sleep may be the last thing on your mind when youre just getting your day underway. But by shoring up circadian rhythms, this early-day light exposure can have a direct effect on how well you sleep at nightand sleeping well makes it easier to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. Whats more, our bio rhythms do a lot more than control our sleepthey influence nearly every part of our daily physiology, from metabolism and digestion to hormone productionincluding hormones that regulate hunger and fullness.
I just recently gave a TED Talk on the timing of our hormones, and the best hormonal times to do just about everything, including eat and sleep. Please check it out!
Don’t Indulge In A Nightcap
Wine is our favorite “healthy” alcoholic drink due to its resveratrola plant compound that has been linked to heart-healthy benefits, although more research needs to be done, according to a review published in the journal Nutrients. However, that evening glass of wine is also considered a high-sugar beverage, according to Smith. Drinking too much can hinder your ability to snooze. It may feel like that nightly glass of wine is relaxing you and helping you fall asleep faster, but it actually prevents your body from fully indulging in its REM cycle, which is where truly restful sleep and dreaming occurs.
Enjoy a glass earlier in the nightabout two hours before bedtimeto avoid sleep disruption, and close the home bar after one or two glasses, tops.
Women And Weight Loss: Focus On Balancing Your Metabolism
Bottom line: Losing weight all comes down to comprehensive lifestyle change, said NBC News Health and Nutrition Editor Madelyn Fernstrom, who called the new study carefully done.
Increasing data like these show that food intake, activity, sleep and stress are all important components for successful weight loss, she noted. Everyone is different, and figuring out where you are vulnerable and fixing that is the key to long term success.
Fernstrom said the new research provides compelling evidence that when chronic nightly sleep deprivation is restored to a healthy number of hours around eight food intake is reduced. There are clearly connections between metabolic signaling and sleep deprivation, with impact thats likely both behavioral and biological, she added.
But its not about sleeping more if youre already getting enough rest, both experts cautioned. Adults who slumber more than nine hours a day may not be getting healthy sleep anymore or eating less, Tasali said.
Ways To Lose Weight Even If You Never Get Enough Sleep
If youre not getting any Zs, try these.
Getting seven to nine hours of sleep every night is clutch for weight loss. It regulates your hormones, keeps your from going into Cookie Monster mode when you spot treats in the break room, squashes stress hormones, and fuels your trips to the gym. But, TBH, getting a full eight hours is not always an option if you’re clocking long hours at work.
That doesn’t mean your weight-loss goals are totally doomed though! You just need to make a few adjustments to your life to boost your energy and diminish the effects of a sucky sleep schedule.
Try these tweaks and start losing weight no matter how little sleep you’re getting.
You know that high-intensity interval training burns serious calories, but they can backfire if you haven’t been hitting the sack. These workouts can actually hinder fat loss because they increase the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your already stressed-out, sleep-deprived bod, says Erica Suter, C.S.C.S. What’s more, since you need lots of energy to get through a HIIT workout, you’ll get less out of it.
Instead, stick to less-taxing strength workouts, lifting moderate-to-heavy weight and taking breaks. Though you’re not working as intensely, focusing on multi-join movements, like squats, deadlifts, pullups, pushups, dips, rows, and lunges will help you boost your metabolism and burn more calories, says Albert Matheny, R.D., C.S.C.S., co-founder of SoHo Strength Lab and Promix Nutrition advisor.
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May Help Moderate Your Appetite
Getting enough sleep may help prevent increases in calorie intake and appetite that can happen when youre sleep deprived.
Many studies have found that people who are sleep deprived report having an increased appetite and a higher daily calorie intake .
In fact, one review of studies found that those who experienced sleep deprivation consumed an additional 385 calories per day, with a greater than usual proportion of calories coming from fat .
Another study showed that sleep deprivation led to significant increases in hunger, food cravings, portion sizes, and chocolate and fat intakes .
The increase in food intake is likely caused partly by the effect of sleep on the hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin.
When you do not get adequate sleep, the body makes more ghrelin and less leptin, leaving you hungry and increasing your appetite .
Poor sleep may increase appetite, likely due to its effect on hormones that signal hunger and fullness.
How The Reward System Works
We have a bag of sweets and eat one. The reward and pleasure centres of our brain tell us that this is good. So we have another because we now know that when we eat this thing, the result is a pleasant sensation .
In a person who has had adequate sleep, at some point another part of the brain will intervene and remind the person that too many sweets are bad for their teeth and waistline. The behaviour is checked and the sweets put away for another time.
In someone who is sleep-deprived, two factors are at play. Signals at the reward centres are amplified. So, when the person eats the sweet, the sensation is more intense and the drive to eat more is increased.
Secondary to this, the prefrontal cortex is dampened. So the signal to stop is weaker. In effect, our willpower is weaker.
In this example, the sleep-deprived person keeps on eating. The end result is a net calorie intake that is much higher for the sleep-deprived person compared to the person who got enough sleep.
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