In our zeal to lose weight, we often change our lives to resemble a regimented schedule of exercise, pre-planned meals, and mental pep-talks. We check our Fitbits regularly, try yoga on YouTube, and buy fancy running shoes.
It’s a lot of work to lose weight, but is all that work really necessary? Could a good night’s rest be the key to losing weight? Incredibly, research suggests certain habits and a good night’s sleep could make it easier to lose weight.
1. Before You Climb Into Bed
You might already know the vital importance of eating protein to lose weight, and ending your day with protein is an excellent way to increase muscle mass, according to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition. Increasing your muscle mass is the most effective way to burn more calories each day whether you’re exercising, sitting on the couch, or even sleeping.
2. Sleep in a Dark Room
A study published in the Journal of Pineal Research revealed that melatonin (the hormone that makes you feel sleepy) is also responsible for increasing brown fat production. Brown fat burns more calories than white fat. Your body produces more melatonin when you sleep in a very dark room so that you can create the “right” type of fat for optimal fat burning and weight loss.
3. Use Your Air Conditioner
You may be able to increase your nightly calorie burn by sleeping in a cold room, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Just like a dark room may increase brown fat deposits, a cold room could also have the same effect. Known as “nonshivering thermogenesis,” the basic idea is that you burn more calories at night when you’re cold, and you also create good brown fat instead of unhealthy white fat.
4. Don’t Sleep With Your Phone or Television
We’re connected all the time to our electronic social lives, and many people sit in bed with a smartphone screen right in front of their eyes before falling asleep. According to researchers at Manchester University, the type of short-wavelength light emitted by electronic device screens interrupts melatonin production, which can mean a disruption of your metabolism and glucose levels.
5. A Good Night’s Sleep Means Burning More Calories
Sleep restores health and helps us maintain active lifestyles, and ample sleep may also help fight obesity, according to a study by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Scientists found their subjects expended more calories during the day when they were well-rested, even if those subjects weren’t particularly active while awake.
Make sleep work for you and help you lose weight by adopting these simple habits. You won’t lose weight immediately, but you may lose weight overnight!