One of the easiest ways to lose weight is by just getting a better night’s sleep.
Get this: In one study, dieters who got eight and a half hours of sleep a night lost twice as much fat as the tired folks scraping by on five and a half hours - even though they all cut the same number of calories.
But how you get ready for sleep makes a big impact on if yoursleep results in weight loss. So here are some bedtime habits to add to your routine to help you on your weight loss journey.
- Get your dairy on - Grab a glass of milk or a cup of Greek yogurt before you hit the hay so you can build more muscles while you sleep. Dairy has lots of casein, a protein that’s slow to digest and researchshows it fuels muscles with amino acids, so you can build lean mass while you snooze. And building muscles is the best way to raise your metabolism and burn more calories.
- Turn down the temp - Dropping the thermostat a few degrees before bed can help you sleep better. And research shows that when people sleep in 66.2-degree rooms, they convert some calorie-storing white fat into calorie-burning brown fat. Spencer Nadolsky says that’s because brown fat’s in charge of heating your body. It doesn’t get much easier than adjusting the temperature.
- Schedule in solo time - We’re usually rushing around getting stuff done right up until we go to bed, but it’s better to spend the last half hour of your day doing a relaxing activity that you enjoy, like reading.
- Set some mood lighting - Even if you’re not glued to your gadget before bed, bright lights from your bedroom windows can mess with your body’s production of sleepy-time melatonin. And that will affect the quality of your sleep, Nadolsky says.
- Do some bedtime yoga - You don’t want to get all energized with intense exercise before bed, but a little stretching or yoga can help you relax, according to Nadolsky. He advises focusing on taking slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out of your mouth to ease tension and to help you fall asleep faster.
- Avoid the nightcaps - You might drift off easier after some wine, but you won’t sleep better all night. Having alcohol too close to bedtime messes with sleep quality in the second part of the night. And nobody wants that!