Good Sleep Hygiene Burns More Fat
The most underrated health strategy—by far—is getting enough sleep. Studies are clear that adequate sleep helps us burn more fat. Plus, shorting ourselves on slumber can accelerate onset of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. Not exactly what you thought sleep might accomplish, right? Burning more fat, even while sleeping, sounds like a good deal. But adequate sleep means good sleep habits or what researchers like to call “sleep hygiene.” Keep reading for a number of science-based suggestions from sleep researchers at the University of Maryland and Stanford University. . .
Maintain regular bedtimes and wakeup times. Try to keep to the schedule most every day. If you have to deviate with bedtimes, awaking at roughly the same time each day will still be quite effective for getting the deepest sleep.
Moderate alcohol intake in the four hours before bedtime. A beer or glass of wine might make you drowsy for bed but studies show alcohol disrupts the ability to have a good night’s sleep.
Other things that can make it hard to stay asleep during the night: Spicy or sugary foods, exercising too close to bedtime (no less than two hours and preferably four to six).
Keep your room cool but not cold for optimal body adjustment to the slowed body rhythms of sleep.
Block out noise and light as much as possible. Research indicates even low-level light can diminish the quality of a night’s rest.
Engage in some breathing exercises before lying down for the night. What’s more, lay down your worries and stresses too. Some sleep therapists recommend you conduct a personal “worry” dump earlier in the evening or afternoon. This worry session helps compartmentalize stress and clear the mind for sleep.
Rituals right before lights out are positive. A warm bath helps some individuals, while others find a few minutes of reading a book (or trying to finish, say, three pages) serves the purpose.
Keep the television out of your room. Sorry, Letterman fans, but less screen time during late-night hours translates to more ZZZZ time.
AHJ Staff writer, Bob Condor