Hitting the gym this weekend? Starting that diet you’ve been promising yourself? Or maybe the detox you have been planning is about to become a reality? We are all quick to follow the latest fads’ on how to lose weight, how to look and how to feel better. However, it turns out you might have been building up a sweat for all the wrong reasons. Experts are now suggesting a far simpler way to achieve your goals… so throw out your training shoes and sleep yourself slimmer!

Ok, maybe not throw them out, but certainly put them aside while you turn your attention to how to sleep better. It’s true, research has proven that sleeping well is the key to being a healthier, slimmer version of yourself. How can simply sleeping affect your weight and appearance? Let’s explain the science….

Sleeping well …… burns more calories

The simple act of sleeping burns between 50 and 100 calories per hour, meaning those managing the recommended 8 hours of slumber a night wake up to 800 calories better off than when they fell asleep.  In addition, by reducing your room temperature, you can activate so-called brown fat cells that in turn increase calorie burn once more. So go ahead and get more sleep!

Sleeping well …… makes you more likely to exercise

The benefits of a good night’s sleep are physical as well as mental. By waking refreshed, you are far more likely to have the energy to work out than someone who is drained, mentally and physically, and more likely to slob out in front of the TV. And that’s the irony… having the energy and motivation to exercise - and therefore increase weight loss, build muscle and tone up - relies on having the energy provided by sleeping for an extended period of time!

Sleeping well …… controls hunger

Studies have shown that those who sleep well are far less likely to be hungry during the day and therefore snack on food they shouldn’t or eat to excess. By falling asleep and waking up at the right time and getting a full night’s rest, you help properly set your body’s daily rhythm. Once your body is in a proper daily routine, you can you can properly plan your meals at healthy intervals. As long as your last meal is a few hours before bedtime, you have time to digest but also lose that full feeling.

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Sleeping well….. reduces cravings

Those who sleep the recommended hours a night are much more likely to feel satisfied in life generally, and this satisfaction extends to food. Those lacking sleep are more likely to be stressed or depressed, so are more inclined to give into a craving, needing to fill a void that is a reflection of other aspects of their day to day life. More sleep means more self-control, which means less cravings --the perfect recipe for a healthy lifestyle!

Sleeping well …… makes your diet easier to stick to

Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can lead to a change in brain function that chooses unhealthy food over a healthier option after just one bad night’s shuteye. This scientific fact is compounded by a physiological lack of motivation experienced by those who are feeling tired. If you find yourself eating a greasy breakfast after a poor night’s slumber, this may be why!

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Sleeping well …… smoothes out wrinkles

With all this talk of fitness and slimming, it’s easy to forget that sleep also benefits how you appear on the outside. Your skin reaps the rewards of a good night’s sleep by using your metabolic function to smooth out your skin. While you sleep, your facial skin naturally plumps and rehydrates. That means that extra sleep can actually make you physically look younger. So what’s your excuse? Get to bed a little earlier and wake up looking your best.

So now you are armed with the facts, it’s time to help yourself get those essential hours of sleep. Our previous articles have some great ways to get a good night’s sleep, but in summary, there are some simple tips to help you off to the land of nod:

  • Make your sleep environment as cozy as possible. Lower the temperature, black out the light and invest in a quality bed and bedding.
  • Stop all electrically based activities at least an hour before bed. This includes laptops, phones and TV.
  • Don’t exercise within 3 hours of your bedtime
  • Avoid excessive alcohol for at least 2 hours before bedtime. It’s best to avoid consuming caffeine anytime after mid-
  • Don’t go to bed hungry or thirsty, it will likely wake you up during the night.
  • A hot shower or bath followed by a warm drink will help you doze off quicker than normal.

Now put these tips to good use by getting better sleep, getting slimmer, and looking better.