Can you imagine burning calories while doing absolutely nothing? No extensive and punishing workout sessions, no running, swimming or climbing the stairs. Just you and your bed, and a few healthy hours of sleep, and you are good to go. You can literally sleep away your worries regarding losing weight.
And while you wrap your head around this incredulous thought, allow us to share some tips.
Even when you are getting your shut-eye, your body is pretty active. As such, it speeds up cell repair and growth, while the brain filters information and reboots. During this time, your body also tends to burn some calories, in fact, more than you can imagine. But this depends on certain factors like your weight, the number of hours that you sleep and your body temperature.
Here are some things that you can do — pre-sleep hours — to ensure this magical process benefits you.
Get those hours
To ensure you lose weight, you must get a good number of hours of sleep. In the absence of sleep, the body and mind gets tired and subsequently hungry. As such, you tend to consume more calories. Also, several studies have found that lack of sleep makes cells less sensitive to insulin, a metabolic change linked with obesity.
Sleep in the dark
It is believed that complete darkness is the key to beauty sleep. A well-rested body and mind is a prerequisite for good health. What a lot of people do not realise, is that for a sound sleep, it is also imperative that it happens in darkness. Human bodies produce melatonin — a ‘sleep’ hormone secreted by the pineal gland — that allows us to fall asleep and stay asleep. It is mostly produced between 11 pm and 3 am (per the natural biological sleep cycle). Melatonin can aid the production of calorie-burning brown fat.
Turn down thermostat
Sleeping in a cooler environment does wonders for calorie burning. According to a study published in the journal Diabetes, those who slept in rooms cooled to 19 degrees burned more than 7 per cent more calories than those who slept in warmer rooms. This is because bodies work harder to raise the temperature, and burn up calories in the process.
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Keep away from gadgets
This is a classic way of squeezing in healthy hours of sleep and burning up enough calories in the process. Studies have shows that use of mobile phones, tablets and other electronic devices just before bedtime, hampers your sleep. These gadgets expose you to the ‘blue light’, which disrupt the production of melatonin and slows down metabolism.