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Can a great night’s sleep encourage weight loss?

With so much to do ahead of Christmas, the last few weeks of 2017 passed us by at lightning speed, and now the pressure is on to make up for lost time and dive head first into our New Year’s resolutions.

Two of the most popular resolutions that people make at this time of year – particularly after a calorific Christmas – are losing weight and getting fit. But with so many weight-loss regimes to choose from and myriad gut-busting myths to avoid, the mere thought of starting a diet can be overwhelming sometimes.

So, to help you sleepyheads make this year’s resolution a reality, we’ve investigated how much a good night’s sleep can affect your weight…and boy, are you guys in for a shock!

Avoid going to bed late

Staying awake at night means that you’re more likely to consume extra calories – researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that subjects who went to bed at 4am and woke up at 8am ate 550 more calories on average than those who enjoyed nine hours’ sleep. What’s even more interesting is that according to another study conducted at the same university, eating late at night also increases your chances of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Lie in and burn calories

Getting enough shut-eye is great for your body’s metabolism, which means that those of you who get adequate kip will burn more calories than those of you who don’t. A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that the resting energy expenditure of normal sleepers – that is to say, the number of calories one burns whilst at rest – was 5% higher than those who didn’t get enough sleep. Normal sleepers also burnt 20% more calories after a meal.

Fight fat with forty winks

Have you ever entered into a diet pact with a friend? Did you find that they lost more weight than you? If so, it might be down to the quality of your sleep…

A recent study at the University of Chicago compared the weight-loss results of slimmers who slept for eight and a half hours a night and dieters who slept for only five and a half hours. All of the participants were placed on restrictive diets (consuming only 1,450 calories per day) and by the end of the trial, those who were well-rested had lost twice as much fat as those who slept poorly.

There’s no denying that a strong connection exists between weight and sleep, so pay attention to your shut-eye – as well as your diet and exercise – and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t achieve your weight-loss resolution this year. Let us know how you get on!

Sleep well!

James Murray

James Murray

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