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Is This Common Bad Sleep Habit Causing Your Weight Gain?

May 18, 2021


This One Nighttime Habit Could Be Making You Gain Weight While You Sleep

Is This Common Bad Sleep Habit Causing Your Weight Gain?

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Diet and exercise are the most important things to watch out for when youre trying to lose weight, but other elements of your lifestyle are also important.

One example of this is your sleep habits. Practicing good sleep hygiene can help you lose weight. It will also improve your overall physical and psychological health.

The factor of sleep is often overlooked by the weight loss industry, but its importance should not be underestimated. Its right up there with eating well and exercising.

Read on for tips on how to optimize your sleep and lose weight in the process.

Is This Common Bad Sleep Habit Causing Your Weight Gain?

Why Its So Important to Your Waistline That You Get Enough Sleep

Its really crucial to get a good 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Both too little sleep (5-7 hours) and too much sleep (8-9 hours) can have a negative impact on your health.

Not getting the right amount of sleep, whether too little or too much, is even associated with premature death.

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Getting the right amount of sleep can help you lose weight. There are dozens of studies attesting to the link between weight and sleep duration.

In one study involving more than 8,000 children, it was found that 3-year-olds who got fewer than 10 and a half hours of sleep, as opposed to 12 hours, had a 45% higher chance of being obese by age 7.

This carries over into adulthood, too. In another study, it was found that each hour of sleep lost was associated with a 50% higher risk of obesity.

A new study shows that it isnt just how long you sleep its what else is going on in your bedroom. In this new study, researchers studied the sleep habits of 43,277 women.

They found that those who slept with the lights or TV on in their bedroom were significantly more likely to show weight gain even to the point of obesity.

Somehow, artificial light in the bedroom while sleeping causes weight gain. Small light sources like a night light or a light outside of the bedroom do not seem to have the same effect. Feel free to keep your night light, but turn off the ceiling lights when its time for some shut-eye!

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So, is turning off the lights and TV at night the secret to avoiding extra weight gain? While its apparently important, light at bedtime isnt the only connection between sleep and weight.

Sleep deprivation, for instance, affects your weight in a variety of ways:

1) It destabilizes hormones that control hunger.

Sleep deprivation raises your levels of a hormone called ghrelin. This is known as the hunger hormone and is responsible for regulating appetite.

According to one study, injecting rats with ghrelin causes them to eat more. Sleep deprivation also lowers your levels of leptin, a hormone that is responsible for making you feel satisfied after a meal.

2) It encourages overconsumption.

Anyone whos stayed up late working on a school assignment is familiar with the temptation to keep going back to the kitchen for yet another late-night snack to sustain your studying.

The longer you are awake, the more likely you are to munch on late-night snacks. These little snacks add up and can cause you to pack on the pounds.

3) It causes you to partake in less physical activity.

When you are extremely tired and sleep-deprived, you are less likely to want to exercise. But if you are well-rested, you will have the energy you need to go on a strenuous run, go rock-climbing, or whatever physical activity suits your fancy.

Is This Common Bad Sleep Habit Causing Your Weight Gain?

How to Get Enough Sleep to Keep Off the Extra Pounds

So how can you ensure that you get a good nights sleep? Well, thats what the rest of this article will be about.

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Dont sleep with the lights or TV on.

Sleeping with the lights or TV on means that your sleep will not be high-quality, and you will wake up feeling more sleep-deprived than you would otherwise. In order to get a good nights rest, sleep in a dark room.

Dont use technology before bed.

If you have to use your phone or computer, be sure to activate night mode so that you wont be exposed to blue light. Blue light, which is emitted by electronics with screens, suppresses the hormone melatonin, which regulates your circadian rhythm.

This tricks your body into thinking that its not yet nighttime and makes it more difficult for you to fall asleep.

Exposure to blue light before bed has been linked to obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. The underlying cause here is the sleep deprivation caused by using technology at night.

Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.

Your body likes predictability.

Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day will make it easier for you to fall asleep at night. You will be much less likely to experience morning drowsiness and will feel more alert throughout the day.

Dont eat large meals or drink coffee before bed.

Although eating a large meal can make you feel drowsy, you should avoid eating a lot right before bed. This interferes with the digestive process and can lead to acid reflux, which can disrupt your sleep.

Eating a big meal earlier in the day also is better for weight loss. In one study involving obese individuals, the ones who ate their biggest meal earlier in the day lost more weight after a 20-week period.

Exercise during the day.

Exercising during the day can help you fall asleep more quickly at night.

However, be sure not to exercise too close to your bedtime, because you need time to wind down. Exercising also raises your body temperature, which makes it harder to fall asleep.

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Set the temperature of your room to cool.

If your room is too hot, you will have more difficulty falling asleep. The ideal temperature is in the mid-60 degrees Fahrenheit.

You could also take a cold shower before going to bed.

Have a nighttime ritual.

This could be something like taking a nice bath, reading a book, or listening to soothing music. Anything that has a soothing effect would qualify.

Once it becomes a habit, it will signal to your body that you are ready to fall asleep.

 

sleeping with lights on

Eat This Bedtime Snack to Melt the Pounds Off While You Sleep

Even though you generally should avoid eating right before bedtime

A recent study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found people who eat a certain macronutrient before bed burn up to 441 more calories the next day

Which means if you eat this macronutrient every night, you can lose up to 1-2 extra pounds per week potentially!

(This was great news for me personally, because I would love to eat a bedtime snack every night.)

So here Ive been starving myself before bed every night, not realizing my favorite guilty pleasure is actually GOOD for me!

The one catch is that you do have to make sure this macronutrient makes up 15-30% of your daily calories if you want the full weight loss benefits the next day.

Heres how it works:

Click Here to Learn What to Eat Right Before Bed to Lose More Weight (Plus 2 More Tips to Burn Fat While You Sleep)

Sarah Fletcher

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