Sleep: The Hidden Secret of Weight Loss

by Carlo Celotti | July 5th, 2011 | Fitness Expert

Everyone knows how proper exercise and a healthy diet can help you to drop pounds, but few realize how important sleep is for it as well. Believe it or not, laying down more and not moving can actually help you to lose weight. Now it’s not the same as laying in front of the TV and taking a nap in the middle of the afternoon, there are specific requirements here.

First, you need to be falling asleep before 10:30pm (at the latest!) and ideally sleeping until you wake up, without an alarm. Otherwise, try to get at least 8 hours before your alarm wakes you up. If that means going to bed earlier, then do that. Sleeping during these hours helps to keep your stress hormones under control, which play a big factor in gaining and losing weight.

Also, you need to be in a pitch dark room. Not even the glow of the alarm clock is allowed. Any light at all (even an LED), will trigger the release of cortisol (one of those stress hormones) and disturb your sleep.

Finally, you should consume no caffeine after 4:00pm. Ideally, I’d say no caffeine at all, but that’s for another article. Caffeine has a half life in the body of 6 hours, so if your last dose of caffeine is at 4:00 pm, you’ll still have half of it in your system by10:00 pm, depending on how fast you metabolize it. So that’s where having your last one even earlier would be an even better idea.

There are other factors to take into consideration as well to improve your sleep, but these are some simple methods that when accompanied with a proper exercise plan and healthy diet are highly effective too.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.