If your dream is to achieve weight loss, sleep away. The ideal body you want is shaped by your dreams, so stop wasting time and go to sleep! Yes, you read that right and we are not kidding! Do you know that we use about one-third of our lives sleeping. It may also interest you to know that sound sleep plays an extremely important role in maintaining our physical and mental health.
If you aren’t getting enough sleep regularly, the risk of developing long-term health problems such as high blood pressure, heart problems, stroke, kidney problems, and weight gain increases (1).
In today’s fast-paced life, a good night’s sleep has become something of an indulgence. It has taken a back seat in the list of priorities.
The Link Between Poor Sleep and Weight Gain
There’s a clear connection between poor sleep and higher body mass index (BMI) which ultimately leads to weight gain (2).
Poor sleep may have an impact on metabolism by lowering your Resting Metabolic Rate or RMR (the rate at which your body burns energy when it is at complete rest) (3). People who sleep less can experience hunger pangs and increased appetite, which leads to consuming calorie-dense foods high in carbohydrates (4). Moreover, they may consume a large share of excess calories as snacks after dinner, which may cause weight gain (5).
Additionally, sleep deprivation may also affect hunger hormones – leptin and ghrelin. These are responsible for suppressing hunger and increasing appetite (4, 6). Thus, an adequate amount of sleep can support weight management and lower the risk of metabolic problems (7).
But not everyone has the gift of being able to sleep well. Ever heard of insomnia, sleep apnea or other sleep disorders? Not being able to sleep is terrible. You have the misery of having partied all night… without the satisfaction.
But we have evidence-based tips to improve your sleep quality. Read thoroughly…
Ways to Improve Sleep
Stick To One Sleeping Schedule
It is beneficial to get to sleep at about the same time every night (8). However, this may be a distant dream for some, especially on weekends. Erratic sleep can wreak havoc on your schedule(9). So, try to stick as closely as possible to set a perfect routine and schedule for quality sleep.
Alcohol may also be closely associated with causing disturbance in sleep (10). It may lead to symptoms of sleep apnea and disrupted sleep patterns (11, 12). Try to limit the consumption of alcohol.
Avoid Consuming Caffeine In The Evening
Although caffeine can enhance energy, focus, and sports performance, it may also restrict your body from relaxing naturally at night (13, 14). A study conducted by the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine has shown that taking caffeine a few hours before going to bed may hinder sleep quality (15).
Improve Bright Light Exposure During The Day
Everyone has a natural time-keeping body clock known as the circadian rhythm, which is responsible for telling your body when it is time to sleep (16, 17). And, bright light or natural sunlight during the day may support a healthy circadian rhythm (18, 19). Get some sunshine for good quality zzzz.
Avoid Blue Light Exposure Late In The Day
While exposure to sunlight during the day is helpful in getting quality sleep, but it is opposite in the case of exposure in the evening (20, 21). This may also happen due to the impact of circadian rhythm, which deceives your brain thinking it is still daytime. It may reduce hormones like melatonin, which are responsible for keeping you relaxed and give deep sleep (22, 23).
Exercise During The Day
Exercise is an amazing remedy for improving poor sleep or distorted sleep (24). Regular physical exercise can improve sleep quality, total sleep time, and insomnia (25).
Create A Restful Environment
Moods are affected by our surroundings. Spas, pubs and salons all are examples of this. Make your room dark, quiet, and cool for more comfortable and better sleep. This may also include the reduction in usage of light-emitting screens such as the television, mobile phones, and computer screens before going to bed (26, 27).
In a nutshell, sleep plays a key role in your health and inadequate sleep is associated with weight gain (as explained above). For some, sleep comes in the blink of an eye. On the other hand, some others may give nocturnal animals tough competition because they may find it difficult to get quality sleep. Lifestyle modifications or medical intervention may help with sleep disorders. However, these above-mentioned ways may help in improving your sleep. Additionally, you can join our social support group to find more solutions for your health-related problems, including sleep disorders and weight-related issues.
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Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements and/or product(s) described in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease, illness or health condition. It is advisable to consult your healthcare provider before making any changes to your lifestyle, diet or dietary supplement program.
- “Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency” NIH. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/sleep-deprivation-and-deficiency
- Beccuti, Guglielmo, and Silvana Pannain. “Sleep and obesity.” Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care. 14:4 (2011): 402-12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3632337/
- Spaeth, Andrea M et al. “Resting metabolic rate varies by race and by sleep duration.” Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.). 23:12 (2015): 2349-56. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4701627/
- “Is too little sleep a cause of weight gain?”. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sleep-and-weight-gain/faq-20058198
- Markwald, Rachel R et al. “Impact of insufficient sleep on total daily energy expenditure, food intake, and weight gain.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 110:14 (2013): 5695-700. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3619301/
- Taheri, Shahrad et al. “Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index.” PLoS medicine. 1:3 (2004): e62. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC535701/
- Kondracki, Nancy. L. “The Link Between Sleep and Weight Gain—Research Shows Poor Sleep Quality Raises Obesity and Chronic Disease Risk”. Today’s Dietitian. 14:6 (2012): 48. https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/060112p48.shtml
- “Teens and sleep: Why you need it and how to get enough.” Paediatrics & child health. 13:1 (2008): 69-72. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2528821/
- Giannotti, Flavia, et al. “Circadian preference, sleep and daytime behaviour in adolescence.” Journal of sleep research. 11:3 (2002): 191-199. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12220314
- Ekman, A. C., et al. “Ethanol inhibits melatonin secretion in healthy volunteers in a dose-dependent randomized double blind cross-over study.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 77:3 (1993): 780-783. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8370699
- Issa, FAIQ G., and COLIN E. Sullivan. “Alcohol, snoring and sleep apnea.” Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. 45:4 (1982): 353-359. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7077345
- Carole, White, et al. “Alcohol increases sleep apnea and oxygen desaturation in asymptomatic men.” The American journal of medicine. 71:2 (1981): 240-245. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7258218
- Graham, T. E., E. Hibbert, and P. Sathasivam. “Metabolic and exercise endurance effects of coffee and caffeine ingestion.” Journal of Applied Physiology. 85:3 (1998): 883-889. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9729561
- Warren, Gordon L., et al. “Effect of caffeine ingestion on muscular strength and endurance: a meta-analysis.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 42:7 (2010): 1375-1387. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20019636
- Drake, Christopher, et al. “Caffeine effects on sleep taken 0, 3, or 6 hours before going to bed.” Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. 9:11 (2013): 1195-1200. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24235903
- Purves, D et al. “The Circadian Cycle of Sleep and Wakefulness”. Neuroscience. 2nd Edition. NCBI (2001). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK10839/
- Aschoff, Jürgen, and Rütger Wever. “Human circadian rhythms: a multioscillatory system.” Federation proceedings. 35:12 (1976):236-32. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/786739
- Sanassi, Lorraine A. “Seasonal affective disorder: Is there light at the end of the tunnel?.” Journal of the American Academy of PAs. 27:2 (2014): 18-22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24394440
- Tuunainen, Arja, Daniel F. Kripke, and Takuro Endo. “Light therapy for non‐seasonal depression.” Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2:CD004050. (2004). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15106233
- Fonken, Laura K., et al. “Light at night increases body mass by shifting the time of food intake.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 107:43 (2010): 18664-18669. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20937863
- Higuchi, Shigekazu, et al. “Effects of playing a computer game using a bright display on presleep physiological variables, sleep latency, slow wave sleep and REM sleep.” Journal of sleep research. 14:3 (2005): 267-273. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16120101
- Gooley, Joshua J., et al. “Exposure to room light before bedtime suppresses melatonin onset and shortens melatonin duration in humans.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 96:3 (2011): E463-E472. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3047226/
- Figueiro, Mariana G., et al. “The impact of light from computer monitors on melatonin levels in college students.” Biogenic Amines. 25:2 (2011): 106-116. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21552190
- Kline, Christopher E. “The bidirectional relationship between exercise and sleep: Implications for exercise adherence and sleep improvement.” American journal of lifestyle medicine. 8:6 (2014): 375-379. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4341978/
- Banno, Masahiro et al. “Exercise can improve sleep quality: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” PeerJ. 6:e5172 (2018). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6045928/
- “Sleep Tips: 6 steps to better sleep”. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep/art-20048379
- “8 ways to improve sleep quality as you age”. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/8-ways-to-improve-sleep-quality-as-you-age/art-20270179