It’s holiday season again – and with so many fads, crazes, and conflicting advice associated with our lifestyle and sleep, it’s hard to know what to believe.
We all dream of a quick fix to staying trim – especially at this time of year. As the weather gets warmer and many of us jet off to the beach, we want to be confident and feel good in our bodies.
However, is it that simple? After all, hitting the gym isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
Well, talking of tea, recent research suggests that simply drinking cinnamon, chamomile or peppermint tea before bed, can, in fact, help us lose weight while we sleep. Sounds easy when put like that, doesn’t it?
Drinking tea isn’t the only thing we can do. A recent study by Silentnight and the University of Leeds found a direct correlation between poor sleep and a higher BMI, suggesting that making sleep a priority could be the key to slimming down this summer – and Silentnight’s resident sleep therapist, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, believes we can all do it, just by making a few small lifestyle changes which help to improve our sleep.
Here are Dr Nerina’s top tips for sleeping yourself slim this summer:
Eat and drink to sleep
A protein-rich breakfast eaten within 30 minutes of rising will help you produce more melatonin at night so you fall asleep more easily. Eating foods such as chicken, cheese, tofu, tuna, eggs, nuts, seeds and milk will also help to boost these hormone levels. Also remember to aim to drink two litres of water per day and stay off the caffeine.
The electronic sundown
Stay off technology 60-90 minutes before you get into bed; your descent into deep sleep will be quicker and more effortless. Your bedroom needs to be a personal sanctuary. Try to switch off as soon as you leave work and never bring your work life into the bedroom.
Stop checking the time
If you’re anxious about how much sleep you’re getting, avoid checking the time. This will just make the anxiety worse. To sleep well we almost need to let go of wanting to sleep well. In other words, the more pressure we put on ourselves to sleep, the less likely we are to actually fall asleep. In these situations it might be helpful not to use the word ‘sleep’ but replace it with the word ‘rest’
Regular exercise is one of the most effective ways of reducing stress hormone levels (mainly adrenaline) thus enabling you to sleep more deeply. This doesn’t have to be a 10km run; something as simple as a 20 minute walk outdoors is enough to reduce your stress levels.
Early to bed
At least four nights a week, aim to be in bed by 10.30pm. You don’t need to be asleep but at least resting… you could be reading a book, listening to calming music or meditating – but not on your phone nor your laptop. Your waistline will thank you!