If you’ve been trying to lose weight ever since you can remember, chances are that you’ve been doing it all wrong. Exercise? Eating a healthy, balanced diet? Sure, that works – if you want to do things the old-fashioned way! But these days, all the cool kids are losing weight in a much more pleasant way – simply by getting enough sleep. Surprised? We were too – it sounds too good to be true, but it turns out this neat little trick actually works. Do you want to find out how?
Sleep can stop you from snacking late at night
We’ve all been there: it’s late and we’re watching our favourite movie, yet something’s missing. No, it’s not a comforting embrace of our loved one, who’s been smart enough to have gone to bed at a reasonable hour – it’s a big bowl of popcorn with loads of butter. You’re starting to see it now, aren’t you? If you were already asleep, you wouldn’t be having this snack, would you?
If you get enough sleep, you’ll buy (and eat) healthier food
You know how they say you should never go shopping for food when you’re hungry? It turns out that it’s even worse when you shop sleepy. A study published in the journal Obesity showed that sleep-deprived participants bought nearly 1,300 calories in food more than those who were well-rested when shopping.
Portion control changes as well: a Swedish study showed that well-rested participants have a different idea of what an ideal portion size is in comparison to sleep-deprived people. So before you start filling up your plate, make sure to catch enough sleep!
Lack of sleep is actually making your hungrier
You know how sometimes you feel like you could go without food for hours and days, and then comes a day when you just can’t stop eating? This could have more to do with your sleep patterns than you may imagine! Researchers from the University of Chicago discovered than when you don’t sleep enough, levels of hunger hormone ghrelin increase, while the levels of leptin, the hormone associated with fullness, decrease. This can lead you to eating an average of 300 more calories per day – and you could easily avoid it simply by catching a bit extra sleep!
The study also showed that not getting enough sleep elevates levels of certain substances, which promote eating for pleasure. These substances are called endocannabinoids, and because the endocannabinoid system is how your body regulates the effects of marijuana, sleep deprivation can actually give you the munchies.
If you get enough sleep, you’ll be able to burn more calories
Losing weight is not so much about eating less, it’s more about burning enough calories. This can easily be done with working out, but why not take the easy way out and simply get a couple extra hours of sleep?
A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown that people with normal sleeping habits have a five per cent higher resting energy expenditure (that’s the amount of calories you burn when you’re not moving) than people who don’t get enough sleep. So if you’re not a big fan of fitness, that’s alright – you can just snuggle up in your bed.
Sleeping can help boost fat loss – especially if you sleep in a cool environment
Sleep itself can help boost fat loss in your body, but there’s an additional trick that you should definitely be aware of if you’re trying to lose weight. Sleeping in a cool environment can actually speed up the loss of fat in your body and promote production of brown fat, which is metabolically active, so it burns calories to help maintain your body temperature.
Sounds great, but how are you supposed to stay cool during hot summer nights? Well, cranking up the air conditioning might help, but if you don’t want to catch a cold while you’re at it, you can also try sleeping on a Napsie mattress, which is incredibly airy, has an excellent ventilation system and will keep you nice and cool all through the night. We bet you’d never have thought that you can actually sleep your way to a slimmer figure, right?