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  • Writer's pictureLouise Atkinson

How good sleep helps you lose weight

Updated: Mar 2, 2019

Poor sleep can be a disaster for dieters. If you aren’t getting quite enough good-quality sleep every night, you could find it much more difficult to slim and stick to a healthy weight.

This is one reason why women find they gain weight at menopause when erratic hormones can conspire infuriatingly to keep you awake at night.

Studies show tiredness boosts appetite, making you more vulnerable to cravings, and more likely to abandon your healthy eating intentions and eat fatty and sugary foods as your tired brain searches for energy to keep it going.

Brain scans also show areas of the brain associated with food-related reward light up when you’re tired as your brain focuses on the fuel it desperately needs to keep you awake.

One night of disturbed or fragmented sleep is enough can make you hungrier than normal because tiredness reduces the chemical signals that let the brain know it’s full.

The best Shrinkology Sleep Solution is to do whatever it takes to get 7–8 hours of good-quality sleep every night if you can.

What if you can’t sleep?

Even if you’ve always slept like a baby the hormonal upheavals of mid-life can leave you lying awake when you should be snoozing. Try these tips to make sure your bedroom is truly Shrinktastic:

  • Get the fluffiest duvet and softest pillows so bed is a comfortable heaven of relaxation

  • Make sure no light gets in through your window or under your bedroom door. Try turning off all the lights and holding your hand in front of your face. If you can see your hand it’s still too light and this could be disrupting your sleep. If blackout blinds or heavy curtains aren’t an option, a simple soft eye mask can do the trick.

  • Aim to have your bedroom at a steady 18ºC through the night.

  • Banish all electronic equipment from the bedroom – and that includes your smartphone. Even very small amounts of blue light from the screen has been shown to disrupt sleep patterns, and any buzzing or beeping will unsettle your sleep even if you’re not consciously aware of the noise during the night.

  • Invest in a simple alarm clock (a light clock is a lovely idea – using light to gently wake you in the morning, rather than a juddering noise) but turn it to face the wall so you are not tempted to check the time if you wake up in the night and then unwittingly torture yourself with recriminations about how little sleep you’re getting or how soon it is until morning.

  • If you are a light sleeper, easily disturbed by sudden noises outside your window or from other people in the house, the hum of ‘white noise’ from an electric fan can help de-sensitise an over-vigilant brain. Keep cheap, disposable foam ear plugs by your bed to pop in place on those nights when your body and brain are being infuriatingly alert.

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