Try One Easy Hack Before Bed to Lose Weight While You Sleep (Health Digest)
Posted: Aug 20, 2023 in In the News
This article originally appeared in Health Digest on August 20, 2023.
Try One Easy Hack Before Bed to Lose Weight While You Sleep
By Beth Bradford
Your weight loss strategy might include a healthy diet and regular exercise, but a lack of sleep could easily sabotage your weight loss goals. When you're sleep-deprived, you're more likely to give in to cravings for high-sugar and high-fat foods. Getting enough sleep will help you make better decisions about foods during the day as well as avoid late-night snacking (via Healthline).
Reduced sleep can also raise your cortisol levels, which are linked to obesity and weight gain, according to Rise Science. Cortisol is linked to stress, and high cortisol levels in the evening could also impact your sleep. Therefore, it's important to reduce your cortisol levels as you wind down in the evening so that you can sleep better. A 2020 study in Frontiers in Psychology found that poor sleepers optimized their sleep when they incorporated moderate exercise or stretching into their day. Because you don't want to exercise just before bed, stretching could be a good practice to help you get a better night's sleep while working on your weight loss.
Stretching can help reduce stress
Although the exercises in the 2020 study in Frontiers in Psychology weren't done in the evening, other studies have shown that stretching can keep stress at bay. A 2017 study in the Journal of Health Psychology found that an hour of power yoga or a stretching-based yoga practice reduced cortisol levels after just a single session. A 2015 systematic review in Sleep Medicine Reviews found that meditative movements such as tai chi, qi gong, and yoga can improve sleep quality.
Stretching doesn't burn a ton of calories — only about 2.7 calories a minute (via Healthline). According to the American Council on Exercise, stretching is an important component of fitness. You'll reduce any muscle stiffness and avoid possible injuries. By promoting circulation throughout your body, you'll also encourage your muscles to relax. Stretching can also increase levels of that feel-good hormone serotonin, which can help you unload the stress from the day (via Colorado State University).
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