Guest Post by Sarah Cummings
Photo by Alan KO on Unsplash
It’s not only hitting those gym classes and eating the best diet that will get you to your desired weight. There are some simple habits to practice before bedtime that can help to lose weight.
While the right diet and exercise do definitely go a long way to helping you get to the finish line, making sure that you get a better night’s sleep is one of the most simple tools to use that can help to lose weight.
Not only is it simple, but effective too. Research has shown us that people that need help to lose weight and slept 8.5 hours a night double the amount of fat lost compared to those who were only making it through the night with 5.5 hours. Their calorie intake was the same each day, but when sleep was compromised, the weight loss was reduced.
Here you have some habits you can practice before bedtime that offer some help to lose weight:
Get some yoga in your life
It’s wonderful and very advantageous to have intensive exercise regularly scheduled into your weekly routine, but you never want to be partaking too close to your bedtime (3-6 hours) or you will likely become too stimulated and energized before you’re supposed to be winding down for sleep.
With this in mind, you want to be more relaxed and mentally settled right before you head to bed and this is where yoga comes in and assists with this.
You should be looking to incorporate deep, diaphragmatic breathing into your moves by breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth while focusing on taking slow, complete breaths that raise and lower your tummy, not your chest.
This technique allows you to trigger your rest and digest parasympathetic nervous system. This will result, not only in lowered tension but also assist with drifting off to sleep.
Try vinyasa flow yoga to help burn calories and get your mind right to an effective sleep that can offer that extra help to lose weight.
Alcohol is out of the question
If you’ve had a few drinks and nodded off before you know it, you might get to thinking that this is a good way to doze off and get sound slumber, but you would be wrong.
Alcohol that is consumed too close to bedtime is proven to interfere with the quality of sleep that you receive.
Yes, there’s no denying that alcohol ‘switches the lights out’ much quicker, but it’s also very good at piling on the calories, refined sugar and generally unsettling your regular sleep cycle, not to mention the number on the scales!
Females are hit harder than their male counterparts too. The effects of sleep disruption from alcohol affect females harder due to quicker metabolisms which results in waking up from sleep sooner than men. What’s more, The National Sleep Foundation also notes that women need more sleep than men too.
It’s worth mentioning that when alcohol is consumed, it gets broken down into acetate in the body. Your body burns acetate before any other stored energy you have in your body. Basically, your body thrives on the alcohol as opposed to any excess fat you might storing and hoping to shed.
Insert technology downtime
This is a common point to read, but it’s a very big prominent one these days, so you have to take it on board and respect the fact that technology prevents good-quality sleep and subsequently weight loss too.
If you are keen on some TV watching, social media scrolling, or reading on your Kindle right before bed, then you need to stop this immediately. These distractions will not only stimulate the brain and keep you awake, but they will also emit a blue light which stops your brain from its regular melatonin release.
The release of melatonin helps you to get off to sleep, but if this is inhibited, then the role that insulin has (to assist in metabolism regulation) is flipped on its head if you don't get enough sleep, and this causes weight gain.
Furthermore, when you’re tired, the tired feelings naturally raise your hunger levels, making it more likely that you reach for a few snacks at night. This then gives you even more fuel to burn off, or possibly not burn off if your metabolism has slowed down!
Enjoy a mug of herbal tea
Leaving you with a pleasant option that is known to send you into the Land of Nod in a far better way than alcohol will it with a mug of warm herbal tea.
Websites such as sleepadvisor.org and dietitians alike have all supported having a cup of herbal tea (naturally caffeine-free) before you slip off to bed. Give a chamomile tea a go before, during and after your yoga session if you’d like. This will help you to unwind before bed and inadvertently help you to lose weight.
Hopefully, these tips will help you to reach your goal!
Over to You!
Are you ready to implement those simple habits?
I'd love to hear from you!