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8 Ways to Lose Weight While You Sleep

8 Ways to Lose Weight While You Sleep

It might sound a bit ridiculous, but you actually can lose weight while you sleep. It's not that you lose weight while sleep by doing anything because you aren't actually physically moving or eating. It's more about the choices that you make prior to going to bed. The food that you eat before bed (if you do eat anything), the exercise and activities that you do during the day, and even the temperature of your room can all have an influence on the number of calories that you burn during the nighttime and your metabolism. So try, these 8 methods to lose weight while you sleep if you are trying to lose weight and see if they make a difference.

Method #1 To Lose Weight While You Sleep - Turn Down Your Thermostat

Believe it or not, just by turning down your thermostat in the evening you might be able to lose weight. A study published in the journal Diabetes found that turning down the heat or even turning up the air conditioner while you sleep can help reduce belly fat. The reason is that colder temperatures may stimulate the body to convert harmful white fat into thermogenic brown fat. A study monitored patients who spent two hours at 63 to 66 F. Then they put their feet in icy water for five minutes at a time. The study found that the participants had higher brown fat deposits and that their brown fat activity levels increased by 15 times [1]. Other studies have found a similar connection between cold exposure and brown fat production.

Method #2 To Lose Weight While You Sleep - Turn Off Every Light

Studies have found a connection between light exposure when you are sleeping and obesity. This is because light exposure can disrupt your natural circadian rhythm and causes sleep disruptions. A study of women in the United Kingdom found a strong association between light at night exposure and obesity, even after adjusting for potential alternate like smoking, alcohol consumption or physical activity levels [2]. This study and other studies have shown that it is essential to get undisturbed sleep during the evenings if you are trying to maintain a healthy weight.

Method #3 To Lose Weight While You Sleep - Don't Snack Too Late

It's a good idea to set strict kitchen hours so that you aren't snacking too late into the evening. Late night snacks can be a major contributor to weight gain because your natural metabolism starts to slow down toward the evening. In general, you are going to burn a lot fewer calories during the night because you aren't physically active, although you still will burn the same amount of calories that you would if you were mostly sedentary. It's essential that you avoid eating anything that could convert to fat when you are getting ready to bed. That means if you are going to snack on something unhealthy, the time to do it is during breakfast or as your day is starting, not as you're going to bed.

Method #4 To Lose Weight While You Sleep - Eat Protein

Eating protein before bed is one way that you can help your body burn a few more calories without putting on weight. It's almost a necessity to do this if you have been weightlifting or doing any other type of resistance exercise. Protein improves your metabolism but you should be sure that you are snacking on something that is pure protein like a piece of chicken breast or an organic whey protein shake, not a snack with carbohydrates. A study found that men who drank a protein shake with 30 grams of protein had a higher energy expenditure the next morning compared to those who didn't [3].

Method #5 - Make Sure You're Getting Enough Sleep

The simple act of getting enough sleep can without a doubt help you maintain a healthy weight and make a significant difference in the amount of calories that you consume regularly. When you're tired and can't sleep you are very likely to compensate by eating more food, but not just any food, it's usually high energy junk that provides you with a quick surge of energy. It's almost the same effect that you get from drinking a cup of coffee when you're tired, except when you eat a junk food snack you put on weight and get a boost of energy followed by a drop off, forcing you to repeat it to stay awake. It's a lot better for your health to just get whatever amount of sleep that you need to be getting as often as you can.

Method #6 - Do a High Intensity Interval Workout During the Day

A high intensity interval workout before you go to sleep can increase your natural HGH production levels by up to 450% and make a significant impact on your evening metabolism. If you aren't sure what it is, you can do a quick search on our blog for HIIT or "€œhigh intensity interval training"€ and find several articles about it. It's by far one of the best exercises that you can do for weight loss, and it can make an enormous difference in the amount of calories that you burn. Numerous studies have found a strong connection between weight loss and stubborn fat loss and HIIT workouts.

Method #7 - Turn Off the Television and Distractions

By turning off the TV and the distractions once you get to bed you can focus on getting sleep and it can dramatically improve the quality of your sleep as well. As previously mentioned, when you are sleep deprived you're more likely to compensate by eating unhealthy food. Once you get into bed try to clear your mind and get rid of all distractions so that you can just focus on going to bed. It might not seem like it's harmful but it really can affect the quality of your sleep, especially if you've found that you are sleep deprived during the day or don't have a lot of energy.

Method #8 - Add Turkey To Your Dinner

Tryptophan is an amino acid that is plentiful in turkey and is also found in lamb and chicken. A study among people who struggled to get to sleep found that ¼ gram which is about the amount found in three ounces of turkey, was enough to induce deep sleep [4]. If you have struggled with getting to bed on time and staying asleep, adding more turkey to your dinner or other meats that have a high tryptophan content might do the trick, and it's definitely worth a shot!


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About the author

Dr. Constance Odom, MD

5 min read