Losing weight is one of the most difficult things people deal with daily. While eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly are two of the best ways to burn fat, the things people do while they sleep can make a difference. Habits such as getting the right amount of sleep, drinking tea, and sleeping in a dark room can actually help people lose weight. Keep reading to see which sleeping habits could burn fat.
Keep Track Of How Long You're Sleeping
One of the most important things a healthy individual can do is to get plenty of sleep every night. The average adult needs about seven to nine hours of sleep, and anything less can lead to weight gain.
"Sleep is necessary for normal body hormone and immune system function. A sleep deprived or sleepy brain is a hungry brain. Poor sleep leads to weight gain," said Dr. Richard K. Bogan, a professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and sleep researcher.
Try Not To Eat At Night
The body digests food throughout the day differently than it does at night. Eating food at night makes it easier for the body to gain weight.
"One of the fastest ways to get rid of body fat is to prevent surges of insulin at night, which will take unused calories and store them as fat," said Dr. Robert Zembroski, a functional medicine doctor and clinical nutritionist. Those who need to eat something during the night should stick to lean protein or greens.
Give Yourself Time To Relax
It's common for people to have trouble falling asleep after thinking about the stresses of daily life. In order to get those feelings to subside, it's best to give the mind and body some time to relax before bed.
This can be done in numerous ways, such as breathing techniques, meditation, yoga, or stretching. "Yoga offers a variety of benefits, from increased flexibility and strength to a calmer mind," said Mark Balfe-Taylor, a director of yoga at TruFusion.
Turn Off Your Devices
According to Reviews.org, about 62 percent of Americans say they sleep with their phones at night and spend about 50 minutes on them before they go to bed. Going on your devices before bed can actually hinder your sleep.
Phone, tablet, and laptop screens produce blue light, which keeps people awake. It sends a signal to our body that it's still daytime. Also, blue light increases hunger and resistance to insulin. There's a setting on most devices to minimize the blue light during the nighttime, but it's best to set a cut-off time about one to two hours before bed.
Keep Your Bedroom As Dark As Possible
It's important to notice your sleep surroundings because they can actually make a difference in your physical and mental health. According to Muscle & Fitness, it's best to sleep in total darkness.
This helps the body release melatonin, which regulates sleep, blood pressure, body temperature, and the stress hormone cortisol. Bedtime light has also been linked to depression and weight gain. Additionally, a 10-year study found that women who were exposed to light while sleeping had 22 percent more of a chance of developing breast cancer.
Time For Tea
Winding down for the night is different for everybody, so it's good to find a way to get yourself to relax. Julia Falamas, a coach at CrossFit SPOT in New York, suggests grabbing a cup of tea before bed.
"There is something about the ritual of sitting down to a soothing cup of tea that tells your brain to slow down and relax," said Falamas. Not all teas are great for bedtime, so try some with sedative properties such as valerian, lavender, chamomile, or peppermint.
Make Sure Your Room Stays Cool
If you find yourself sleeping in a warm bedroom, you should reconsider your sleeping habits. Sleeping while warm prevents the body from metabolizing fat. Instead, people should sleep in a room that's 66 degrees Fahrenheit or colder.
According to HerBeauty, sleeping in a cold room helps the body metabolize fat and increases the amount of calorie-burning by a whopping 42 percent. The cold temperature can also help with insulin sensitivity and decreases the risk of diabetes.
Eat A Lot Of Protein Throughout The Day
Being mindful of what you're putting in your body is crucial for weight loss. One of the most helpful ways to do so is by eating a lot of protein throughout the day.
Giving the body enough protein can stabilize blood sugar levels, which can speed up metabolism during the day and night. Protein also fills you up, which can stop you from overeating. Nutritionist James Collier suggests consuming between 30 to 35 grams per meal with foods such as chicken, turkey breast, beans, quinoa, nuts, and edamame.
Practice Some Resistance Training Before Bed
Doing certain kinds of exercises before bed is a great way to help you burn fat while you sleep. Resistance training is something people should try because it is one of the fastest ways to boost metabolism.
According to a study from the International Journal of Sport Nutrition, the subjects who performed resistance training before going to sleep had a higher metabolic rate for about 16 hours after their workout. Resistance training can be anything from weight lifting, planks, or squats. Exercising before bed can be too stimulating for some people, though, so do what works for you!
Remember To Stay Hydrated
Our bodies need to stay hydrated in order for us to function properly. Medical News Today states that humans are made up of 60 percent water and 90 percent of that is in our blood.
Water is essential for kidney function and can boost metabolism. "Drinking at least eight cups of water a day has been shown to boost metabolism. In addition, ice-cold water requires your body to use more calories to heat it to body temperature, providing you an added metabolism boosting benefit," said Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE.
Try Taking A Hot Shower At Night
If you normally bathe or shower during the morning or afternoon, it may be time to switch things up. Those who want to burn fat while sleeping should shower shortly before they get in bed.
"A hot shower is great for ensuring a good night's sleep because it can help relieve tension and relax sore muscles," said CrossFit coach Julia Falamas. After a hot shower, our body temperature will rise and then quickly decrease, which can stabilize metabolism.
Incorporate Intermittent Fasting Into Your Routine
Those who aren't used to intermittent fasting may be intimidated when they first start. Intermittent fasting means someone isn't consuming food for a long period of time, which usually lasts eight to 12 hours.
HerBeauty stated that intermittent fasting is completely healthy and allows the cells in your body to repair themselves. When the body is fasting, it causes the human growth hormone to increase. This helps your muscles, reduces insulin resistance, and burns fat while you sleep.
Shake Up Your Daily Walks
Getting enough exercise throughout the day is essential for a healthy lifestyle. Even exercising hours before you get ready for bed can still keep your body burning calories. While many people go for daily walks, they may need to step it up to burn more calories.
This doesn't need to be anything drastic. Today suggests people walk with a pair of one to three-pound dumbbells or strap on some ankle weights. This turns your daily walk into both a strength training and cardio session.
Start Drinking Casein Shakes
Those who want to consume a large amount of protein before bed should consider drinking casein shakes. These take about six to eight hours for the body to break down, so it keeps your metabolism active all night.
Since it takes a while to break down, people end up waking up full and refreshed. Researchers at Maastricht University found that casein is great for overnight protein synthesis, which is crucial for muscle repair and strength.
Make Things Spicier
Those who are trying to lose weight and love spicy food are in luck. Consuming cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, and other types of hot peppers can help with a fat-burning process called thermogenesis.
"The capsaicin found in these foods has been shown to have a thermogenic effect, helping your body to burn more calories and fat," said Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE. While spicy foods won't make too much of a difference, they can really help if someone has reached a plateau in their weight loss journey.
Stay Away From Chocolate
There are actually a lot of benefits to dark chocolate, such as antioxidants and minerals, but it isn't the best nighttime snack. Dark chocolate contains about 40 to 50 milligrams of caffeine per serving, so it can keep you up. Dark chocolate almost has as much caffeine as a cup of coffee.
As the body starts getting ready to shut down, the caffeine causes people to disrupt their circadian rhythm. Anything with sugar or caffeine is not recommended during the night.
Invest In Some Blackout Curtains
While turning off the television and other devices is a great thing to do before going to sleep, outside light can also disrupt your sleep. This is why people should have dark or blackout curtains in their bedroom to block out the outside light.
HerBeauty states that humans will naturally produce melatonin after the sun goes down, but indoor and outdoor lights can slow the process. Not getting enough melatonin can cause people to experience weight gain.
Stock Up On Cottage Cheese
Those being mindful of their weight might choose to not eat before bed. While this is a great tool, it doesn't work for everyone. If someone goes a long time without eating during the night, it can cause them to binge eat when they wake up.
In order to prevent this from happening, there are some snacks that are okay to consume. Having a small serving of cottage cheese before bed is a smart choice. It contains casein protein, amino acid, and tryptophan, which reduce hunger and increase sleep quality.
Only Eat Carbs During The Day
People who are trying to lose weight should be mindful of their carb intake and consume as little as possible. Eating carbohydrates before going to sleep is one of the quickest ways to gain weight.
Muscle & Fitness suggests people eat the majority of their daily calories and carbs during daytime hours with a cut-off time at the early evening. This allows people to lower the amount of insulin in their blood, which is better for metabolizing fat.
Dinner Should Be Your Smallest Meal
It can be hard to say no to a big, tasty dinner, but the evening and night hours are when you should be consuming little to no food. Having a larger breakfast or lunch will help you stay full, so you don't indulge during dinner.
According to HerBeauty, eating a large meal before bed makes it harder for your body to digest properly. This doesn't mean that you should go overboard on breakfast or lunch. Try to stay away from carbs and go for plant-based and fiber-rich foods.