“Sleep More, Lose Weight” from Lifescript.com
It sounds too good to be true, but getting more shut-eye can actually help you shed excess pounds. Read on for expert tips on catching extra Zzz’s…
The more active you are, the easier it is to maintain a healthy weight – during the day.
But at night, the opposite is true. Getting plenty of deep, refreshing sleep is a major key to weight loss, according to a growing body of research.
In fact, sleeping less than seven hours a night significantly boosts your risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, reports a 2010 Harvard University study of 56,000 U.S. adults.
And in a 2010 University of Chicago study, overweight adults on a moderate diet who slept 8.5 hours a night lost 56% more body fat than those who slept only 5.5 hours.
Researchers suspect that too little sleep may change metabolism, so people burn calories more slowly. It may also alter levels of hormones that affect body fat.
Plus, you may just eat more. Every extra hour of sleep means you’re 21% less likely to binge on high-calorie snacks, according to another 2010 Harvard study, of 240 subjects in their late teens.
If you aren’t getting that, start now with these 15 expert tips, and soon you’ll be snoozing your way to weight loss.
1. Do a sleep check.
2. Nix the nightcap.
3. Send emails earlier.
4. Free your mind from worry.
5. Cut out caffeine and cigarettes.
6. Create a sleep-friendly environment. 7. Stick to a regular schedule.
8. Time your workouts.
9. Have a bedtime snack.
10. Don’t fight it.
11. Take a smar t nap.
12. Take calcium and magnesium supplements.
Both are natural relaxants, says Sally Kravich, a holistic nutritionist and author of Vibrant Living (SPK), a raw-food cookbook.
Kravich recommends 1,000-1,200 mg of calcium for premenopausal women
and 1,500 mg for menopausal women –along with 500 mg of magnesium for
every 1,000 mg of calcium. And take them before bedtime.
Liquid, powdered or chewable forms can be easier to digest, she notes.
But watch out: Magnesium has a laxative effect. You should check with
your doctor before taking any supplement.
13. Toss the critters out of bed.
14. Take care of your heartburn.
15. Check with your doctor.
If you continue to have trouble sleeping, consult a doctor or a sleep