When it comes to losing weight for
summer holidays, the most popular tip centres around the old adage
of 'eat less, move more'. However, now experts have found that
something as simple as getting a good night's sleep can actually
help you to lose weight.
Research from The University of
Nebraska has found the less shut-eye a person gets, the more they
eat. When we are tired, the hormones controlling appetite are
affected, so people feel hungrier, and find it more difficult to
stick to diets. After a night of tossing and turning, levels of
ghrellin - the 'hunger hormone' which stimulates appetite - are
higher, according to the study.
Silentnight sleep expert, Dr. Nerina
Ramlakhan, adds: "Not sleeping enough forces our body into crisis
or survival type mode. We start to run on adrenaline which makes us
conserve energy and store fat particularly around the middle - this
is called 'trunkal thickening' - and
we start breaking down our muscles.
"Not sleeping or poor quality sleep
also makes you rely more on caffeine and refined sugars during the
day and these are all substances that will make us put on weight.
In the meantime, people who have difficulty getting to sleep delay
going to bed, and then snack as a procrastinating exercise. People
also drink alcohol in the evenings, mistakenly believing it will
make them more tired, and these alcoholic drinks are high in
Simple lifestyle changes to get
better quality sleep can therefore help us to lose weight and stick
to healthy eating regimes more easily.
Dr Nerina has shared some of her top
sleep tips so you can see results on the scales:
- Your bedroom is your personal
sanctuary. Never bring your work life into the bedroom - keep
laptops and mobile phones out of this room. It should be a
technology free zone
- If you can, try and switch off
from work as soon as you leave the office and avoid checking your
emails or social media accounts 90 minutes before going to bed -
put your phone, laptop and tablets away
- Regular exercise is one of the
most effective ways of reducing stress hormone levels (mainly
adrenaline) thus enabling you to sleep more deeply
- 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'
- If you're lying in bed and you
can't sleep - cast your mind over your day and think about all of
the positives things that have happened. Close your eyes, breathe
deeply and you will be asleep before you know it
- To help us sleep as well as
possible we need a good balance of the hormones serotonin and
melatonin in our system. Eating foods such as chicken, cheese,
tofu, tuna, eggs, nuts, seeds and milk will help to boost these
hormone levels. A glass of milk before bed is a great way to induce
For more information and sleep tips
visit the sleep matters section of our website here.