The health effects of sleep deprivation on your body such as feeling grumpy and difficulty concentrating are well known. But did you know that a lack of sleep can cause weight gain and lead to the storage of body fat, especially around your stomach? Getting enough sleep is a very crucial part of weight loss and overall health. Many studies have shown that regular poor sleep can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even premature death. Meanwhile, World Sleep Day on Friday, March 15, aims to raise awareness about the importance of healthy sleep.
While insufficient sleep has been linked to all kinds of problems, from weight gain to a weakened immune system, catching a bit of shuteye can help you shed the pounds and shape up. Studies have proven that people who sleep less than 7 hours a day tend to gain more weight and make unhealthy food choices.
Tips to help you lose weight and burn belly fat while you sleep
Never go to sleep hungry
Avoid going to bed feeling hungry as it can interfere with a good night’s rest. Lack of sleep is associated with weight gain due to increased hunger, hence, it’s always better to have some feelings of satiety at most parts of your day, including your bedtime.
Do not eat a big meal right before bedtime
While going to bed hungry can backfire, you should not eat a huge meal right before sleeping. Eating a large dinner right before bed can cause a spike in blood sugar and insulin, which can lead to weight gain. It can also interfere with your digestion and the quantity and quality of your sleep. Moreover, having a huge late night meal has linked to an increased risk of obesity and cardiometabolic disease.
Eat a small snack of cottage cheese before bed
Foods like cottage cheese are high in lean protein. They contain the amino acid tryptophan, which has been shown to improve the quality of sleep by increasing serotonin levels. Low levels of brain chemical serotonin can contribute to insomnia, which can lead to a dysregulation in the body’s ‘energy balance’ and make you gain weight.
A cup of herbal tea
A nightly cup of herbal tea is an excellent choice when it comes to relax and unwind. Herbal teas – such as chamomile tea, ginger tea and peppermint tea – aren’t just calming choices for bedtime but are also great for losing weight.
Pre-slumber resistance training
Turns out, adding some resistance training to your daily evening routine before bed can be one of the best approaches to slimming down. Doing resistance training can help you burn belly fat effectively by triggering production of fat-burning hormones. A study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition reported that people who performed resistance exercises had a higher resting metabolic rate for an average of 16 hours following their workout.
The bottom line is that getting quality sleep is very essential for weight loss, apart from eating right and exercising.