Everyone knows how important it is to get a good night’s sleep. From your mood to your productivity, sleep plays a key role. What you may not know is that when it comes to losing weight, sleep serves a critical function. It turns out that getting less than eight hours of sleep at night raises cortisol levels. This stress hormone has a negative effect on the microbes in the intestinal tract and results in slowing down your metabolism. Can you lose weight while you sleep? Research shows that poor sleep habits contribute to weight gain and that yes, you actually can lose weight while sleeping.
Practice Healthy Snack Habits
One of the lesser known ways for how to lose weight while sleeping actually involves having a night snack before bed. Without a healthy bedtime snack, blood sugar levels crash during the night and this affects your sleep as well as your waistline. If you want to lose weight while you sleep, steer clear of empty calorie late-night snacks. Opt for a protein-rich healthy snack to sustain you and support healthy blood sugar levels so that your body can effectively burn fat while you sleep. Try a yummy combination like peanut butter and apple for a satisfying evening snack.
Try Some Tryptophan-Packed Foods
Tryptophan is an amino acid that is known to promote sleepiness. It is found in high quantities in poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and lentils and when eaten in the evening, can help to promote sound sleep which supports weight loss. Researchers found that just each about ¼ gram of tryptophan will do the trick. This amount can be easily obtained by eating about three ounces of lean turkey or a skinless chicken drumstick. You can also pair your protein with a healthy fat like nut butter or avocado which sustains and restores your body.
Swap out Some Coffee for Some Green Tea
Green tea contains nutrient-rich flavonoid compounds that have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The flavonoids in green tea can help to boost your metabolism and help you burn more calories overnight while you sleep. Green tea contains caffeine and does promote alertness, but it also contains the amino acid theanine which supports relaxation. Green tea typically doesn’t keep you awake all night like coffee can so go ahead to enjoy a few cups throughout the day to help lose weight while you sleep.
Have a Healthy Protein Shake
Another great before-bed snack is a protein shake. Along with boosting your metabolism, combining your favourite smoothie ingredients with healthy protein add-ins will help your body to burn more calories digesting the protein. There are various options for protein, including ground nuts or seeds. If using a protein powder in your shake, consider using a vegan one as this can increase your body’s fat-burning potential without the bloating often associated with dairy-based protein powders.
Turn That Furnace Down
Some people may not realize that the room temperature can affect weight loss goals. It turns out that a cooler environment in the bedroom can help you lose weight while sleeping. According to research, keeping your thermostat set to about 66 degrees Fahrenheit cuts calories by 7 percent. This is because the body actually burns fat as it works to maintain its core temperature.
Nix the Nighttime Screens
Most of us spend a lot of time on electronic devices throughout the day. Studies have shown that the blue light from our devices negatively impacts melatonin production which can be disruptive to a healthy metabolism. Try to get into the routine of having an end time for using electronic devices before going to sleep, including watching television. Turn off all electronics in your bedroom to promote restful sleep.
Create a Sleep Haven
Sleep is so important and so is your sleep environment. Make your sleeping space as comfortable as possible. Be sure to keep your room appropriately dark to promote proper melatonin production and rest. Use room darkening curtains if needed and be sure the room is free of distractions to help you fall and stay asleep. Don’t overlook the importance of a good mattress. Having a bed with a quality memory foam mattress can make all the difference to help you lose weight while you sleep.