If you’ve ever seriously considered losing some weight, you already know that there are almost as many diet and exercise plan options as there are days of the year. Personal trainers swear by spending as much time in the gym as possible, while triathletes claim that running, swimming, and biking is the only way to get fit. And dietitians make the argument that slimming down is all about maintaining a balanced and nutritious meal plan.
But the truth is that they’re all wrong. Seriously. Real, sustainable weight loss (and good health for the long haul) comes from one of the most unexpected but common places in our lives: the bedroom.
You read that right – slimming down starts in bed. Good thing for us, since we spend almost a full third of our lives asleep. Just imagine how successful you could be with a weight loss routine that you can literally take to bed with you!
4 Ways to Lose Weight While You Sleep
1. Skip the Sheep and Go for the Turkey: We’ve all found ourselves feeling extra sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner, and scientists all agree that is almost completely thanks to the turkey we eat. Tryptophan is an amino acid that is found in quite a few different types of meat, and it’s been well-documented to be a reliable way to help you feel sleepy. And as a bonus, turkey contains less fat and fewer calories than beef or chicken, which also makes for easier digestion and less stomach upset, allowing you to focus on getting some rest without worrying about any pounds you might pack on. So the next time you’re hankering for a bedtime snack, try going for a mini turkey sandwich!
2. Ditch the Electronics
: Multiple studies have shown that exposure to artificial light not only wreaks havoc on your ability to sleep, it can also be responsible for packing on those extra pounds. One study in the American Journal of Epidemiology
showed that women that are exposed to electronic light sources before bed had higher body fat levels compared to those that ditched the light before turning in each night, even at the same amount of physical activity. And exposing yourself to light at night also decreases the amount of melatonin (a naturally occurring chemical that regulates sleep) that your body produces, increasing your chance of sleep deprivation and inability to lose weight.
So overall, your best bet is to just say no all electronics and light sources. Check out these quick tips to cut your exposure to light and get better sleep:
• Start to dim the lights in the house 3 hours before bed
• Try “warm light” sources like LED lamps
• Shut down all electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime
3. Cut Down on Screen Time
: This one might seem a bit harsh, but studies have shown that watching TV can increases your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and even put you in danger of an early death. Yikes! And it goes pretty much without saying that time spent staring at a television screen leads to weight gain. Instead of getting sucked into a Netflix marathon before bed, try taking a nice evening walk, read a book or play a family board game, or sink into a relaxing bath. Your body will thank you
for the change!
4. Get the Bedroom (Wall) Blues
: Have you ever noticed that most fast food restaurants have yellow or red color schemes? That’s because research has proved those colors send subliminal messages to diners that it’s time to eat. If you have the same colors in your bedroom, you’re unknowingly setting yourself up for some late-night snacking sessions. Not good! Try redoing your sleep sanctuary in shades of blue – that color has been shown to promote relaxation, lower blood pressure, and even suppress your appetite.
The Bottom Line
No matter how you choose to lose weight during your day, be it a crazy number of crunches, cutting out carbs, or running laps until you’re ready to collapse, none of it will get you much closer to your weight loss goal if you aren’t getting enough quality sleep each night.
Following the tricks you just learned for getting better sleep will help you to feel (and look!) better than you ever thought possible, and it’s all thanks to some quality sack time. Sweet dreams!