You snooze, you lose… Weight!

P.S No REALLY

Thinking of joining the gym? Hold that thought! Research suggests there could be more to ‘you snooze, you lose’ than you think. When it comes to losing weight, the bed isn’t the first thing that to mind though according to London’s leading sleep coach Max Kirsten it could be the best place to start, “sleep is the most underrated weight loss tool available, it also improves the quality of your skin” Max says, who’s better sleep workshops have helped people all over the world.

Before you dive into your PJ’s- for sleep to help you lose weight there are a few things to keep in mind. Doughnuts before bed for example are not going to help. Darn! So, what is? First, let’s take a look at how sleep can help us with our weight loss goals. 

How can sleep help with weight loss?

Mid-morning munchies? Need. Sugar. Now? You sound tired! Whether it’s uncomfortable bedding or a snoring hubby getting in the way of you and a good night’s kip, not clocking enough hours can lead to weight gain. How? Sleeping rebalances hormones that regulate your appetite like ghrelin and leptin to tell you when you’re full and have had enough. When these are out of whack, it’s hard to stop after one biscuit. So, should you hit the gym to burn them off? Our sleep coach shakes his head. “Under sleeping and pushing yourself to diet is a punishing approach” Want to lose weight? Start with upping your amount of quality sleep. You will have more energy for working out, and those compulsive urges to eat junk food will disappear! You will naturally feel less anxious.

Another pesky side effect of lack of sleep. “When we don’t sleep, we feel more emotional, making us more prone to eat on our feelings”. Hmm, regularly emptying the snack cupboard? It could be time to adopt a better sleeping routine. Starting with what to eat before bed!

What’s best to eat before bed?

Food on the fork

We know doughnuts are out, though what’s in? A lot, actually. Restrictive diets like cutting out carbs are not always helpful. “A balanced meal containing all the food groups will maintain your blood sugar levels, meaning less waking up in the night,” our sleep coach says. Still, fancy a snack before bed? Here are a few things to nibble on without sabotaging your goals to lose weight. 

Almonds- Swap cookies for a handful of these snooze-approved nuts! Almonds are full of healthy fats and Vitamin E which will fend off the midnight munchies.

Banana’s– Feeling peckish before bedtime?  Go bananas! The yummy fruit is full of serotonin which converts to melatonin making you sleepy.  

Protein shake- Whizz up a bedtime smoothie from low-fat milk and strawberries and get slurping! Milk is rich in tryptophan which will have you yawning into your PJ’s

Also, consider supplements, especially in the winter. Getting the right mix of vitamins will give your body everything it needs to rest properly. Right then, belly’s full, now let’s look at how your sleeping environment can help get you back in those jeans!

What does an ideal bedtime look like?

Memory Foam Mattress Topper And Pillows

Just like the perfect pair of trainers set you up for a good run, perfecting bedtime will set you up for a good sleep! So how do we do that? Let’s take a look. 

Love your bed –  “You need to love your bed” our sleep coach says. Everything from the right duvet to comfy bedsheets can play a part in helping you drift off. Making sure your bedding is soft, cool, and fresh will ease you into a more restful sleep. Current bedding not cutting the mustard? You might want to try bamboo! The wonder fabric is antimicrobial and makes for scrumptiously, soft bed sets. 

Keep it cool –  A big cause of interrupted sleep is overheating which is why it’s best to get the right duvet. Bamboo duvets are naturally thermo-regulating, keeping you breezing through summer and snug as a bug in winter. Planet and seasonal friendly bedding– we call that a win-win! 

Keep it regular – Whether you are a night owl or a morning person, sticking to the same bedtime every night will do your body wonders. A bit like working out it’s best to keep it consistent. “Regularity is key for people struggling to sleep or lose weight” Max says, who believes it’s best to find a routine that works for you as we are all different”- Indeed! 

Another thing we all do differently is sleeping positions, though when it comes to weight loss- what one is best?

Best sleeping position for weight loss

Front, back, or side? Well, when it comes to a good night’s sleep, they all have their uses.  Sleeping on your back can be better for facial muscles. If you’re after some cheeky cardio! While side sleeping can aid digestion and front sleeping can promote better alignment of the spine. Though when it comes to sleeping positions choose the one that is most comfortable, as this is what’s going to help you get the best rest. And when it comes to losing weight, the better rested you are the stronger you will be whether it’s saying no to dessert or tackling a morning run. According to our sleep coach, “Sleep underpins wellbeing mentally and physically” Hear, hear!

The Take- Away

Whatever your reasons for wanting to lose weight, sleeping well is the best place to start. From waking up with more energy to making better food choices, sleep is your ultimate super power when it comes to staying healthy. Looking good starts with feeling good, and so perhaps the only thing on the menu tonight… should be setting a regular alarm (on vibrate) to get you in bed for an early night!

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