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Chances are you haven’t thought of sleep playing a huge role in achieving your fat loss goals until just now. Indeed, there are studies to suggest that the quality and quantity of sleep may be related to obesity and weight loss in adults.
However, the results are not conclusive just yet. There is emerging evidence though, that lack of sleep and disrupted circadian rhythm can mess with your metabolism and result in weight gain and obesity.
You can only win if you aim to improve your bedtime routine and achieve 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night for your health. If the side-effect will be to shed the extra weight faster, I am sure you’ll be even happier. Here are 9 easy ways to get better and longer sleep each night.
1. Eat a Protein-Rich Dinner
Consuming protein close to bedtime boosts the body’s protein synthesis process overnight which can help with faster muscle recovery and result in more gains in strength and muscle mass. The more muscle you have the faster you’ll burn fat.
2. Keep Your Bedroom Cool
Your body’s temperature fluctuates daily, peaking in the afternoon and reaching its lowest early morning after gradually decreasing overnight as we sleep, to allow better rest. Keeping your bedroom’s temperature cooler will help your body to cool down faster and help you fall asleep easier.
3. Shut the Lights Out
Darkness is very important for a restful sleep. Being in dark sends a critical signal to your brain that it’s time to rest. If your body’s natural sleep cycle is disrupted by light at the wrong times, you may not get enough quality sleep, even if you are in bed for 8 hours. If you get too much light from the street, buy blackout curtains to shut them out.
4. Switch Off Electronics
Following on from the previous point, make sure you turn off all electronic devices, including the TV an hour before bedtime. Create an evening ritual that will help your body to unwind from the day and fall asleep in time for quality rest.
5. Introduce Tea Time
Certain types of teas, like chamomile, peppermint and lavender can help your body to relax and get into sleep mode. Have it about an hour before you would like to fall asleep. A nice cup of tea and a good book can be great companions in the last hour before sleep time.
6. Bedtime Snack
So long it doesn’t shoot your daily food intake into overeating – you’d like to lose weight after all – including a small carbohydrate-rich bedtime snack about 30-60 minutes before going to bed can help your hormonal balance and increase the sleep-inducing tryptophan in the blood.
7. Don’t Exercise Too Late
Vigorous workouts can energise your body and delay the unwinding process if you finish it too close to your bedtime. Ensure you give your body at least 3-4 hours after working out to help your sleep routine.
8. Buy the Right Mattress and Pillow
As we are getting older it feels our body becomes more selective of our sleeping environment. Not having the right support for our body and neck may result in tightness, aches and can ruin the quality of the sleep. Invest in a more expensive, quality pillow or even change the whole mattress if you wake up tired every morning.
9. Magnesium, Zinc and D3 Vitamin to the rescue
I coach all online personal training clients to create nutrition habits that support a fully balanced nutrient intake. However, certain micronutrients like Magnesium, Zinc or D vitamin are harder to get purely from food, especially during the winter months. Research also suggests that these three can form a very efficient combination to help you go to sleep when taken in the evening.
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