There are several pieces to the weight loss puzzle, with the major ones including diet, exercise, and sleep. You might end up paying a much higher price than an ill-tempered morning if you skimp on your sleep. Research shows that lack of sleep usually contributes to weight gain. Here are some sleep hacks for you to lose weight naturally.
According to Daniel Barone, MD, the exhaustion caused by lack of sleep might throw your hormones entirely out of control. Two hormones are inhibited when we do not get enough sleep. The first one is ghrelin, which signals hunger surges, and the second is leptin, which signals satiety. The inhibition of these two hormones naturally encourages us to consume more food.
Although people who do not sleep well are generally less active than well-rested individuals, other factors are also likely to influence fatigue-related weight gain. According to Carl Bazil, MD, getting additional hours of sleep won’t cause you to lose weight, even if you already snooze soundly. Keep reading if you are like most people and could use a few tips.
Stop using “PM” over-the-counter medications
Although it might seem like the simplest way to get more sleep, popping such pills could lead to weight gain. You should, therefore, avoid using over-the-counter antihistamine-based sleep meds or any “PM” remedy. You promote weight gain by blocking histamines since they are part of your body’s weight-regulating pathways.
Avoid social jet lag
Social jet lag is the tendency to stay up late on weekdays and sleep later on weekends. Your body has to adjust to a significant time difference, which contributes to weight gain. Current Biology published a study that links social jet lag to obesity and several diabetes and heart disease risk factors. Participants with social jet lag had higher levels of fats and sugar in their blood and carried significantly more girth around their midsections.
Establish a sleep schedule
Planning your sleep time and being consistent helps you to avoid social jet lag. You should, therefore, keep a regular sleeping schedule to ensure you get at least 7-9 hours of shut-eye every night. Varying your sleep and wake times for more than one hour in either direction is not advisable. Establishing healthy exercise and eating habits can be rather hard when the state of your circadian rhythms is constantly in misalignment. Reaching for that slice of cheese pizza is also more tempting at midnight.
Find a relaxation technique that suits you
Although watching TV relaxes some folks perfectly well, it might rev up other people. Something whatever is relaxing for one individual might be activating for another. As such, it might take some experimentation to find yourself a suitable relaxation technique. Apart from being popular, progressive relaxation is one of the most recommended relaxation techniques. In this particular method, you slowly and consciously relax every muscle in your body one after the other. However, browsing the internet as a form of relaxation is strongly discouraged since it contains a lot of stimuli.
Steer clear of blue light
By suppressing melatonin, the hormone responsible for signaling sleep, blue frequencies of light can keep you awake. Suppressing melatonin has exactly the same invigorating impact as being out in the daylight. Fortunately, several apps that can warm the light on your screen and allow you to read on your device before bed are currently available. You can alternatively wear blue-blocking glasses or power off your electronics half an hour before bed.
Leave the bedroom if you are not sleepy
Although it might seem like it will rev your energy, getting up is better than tossing and turning for several hours. Waiting it out by staying in bed reinforces your brain’s and body’s association with being awake while you are in bed at night. Leave your bedroom if you really cannot sleep and try a relaxing activity before you return to bed.
As evidenced by the various factors listed above, lack of sleep often contributes to weight gain. As such, controlling your mind and body to ensure you get enough sleep every single night is of vital importance. You can achieve better sleep by relaxation, stimulus control therapy, and avoiding blue light, social jet lag, and PM” over-the-counter medications. Use these sleep hacks and stay slim!