How to lose weight and boost sleep

20 April 2017 by
First published: 4 February 2016

If you’re an insomniac who spends hours lying awake at night, you’ll be pleased to know that it is possible for you to lose weight and boost sleep.

The aesthetic side of maintaining a healthy lifestyle can sometimes overshadow the fact that having a healthy weight and eating correctly can improve your overall wellbeing dramatically – including your sleeping patterns, which is one of the main contributors to your overall mental and physical state.

Poor sleep has been linked to a host of health problems, including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression and more. A 2012 study found that the more tired you are, the more you eat during the day in attempt to perk yourself up, which can easily add up to weight gain over time. So instead of sleeping poorly, downing caffeine every morning, reaching for sugary snacks every afternoon, and repeating the cycle day after day, try these little changes to eat and sleep better.

Eat clean

The first step toward better sleep and maintaining a healthy weight is eating balanced, nutritious meals and snacks evenly paced throughout the day. If you eat too little during the day you’ll over-eat in the evening, leading to a night of tossing, turning and indigestion. And if you eat too little for dinner you might find yourself lying awake, longing for a trip to the fridge.

Drink less caffeine

According to the National Sleep Foundation, consuming more than three 8-ounce cups of caffeine a day may impact sleep, and six or more cups is considered to be excessive intake. The body takes about six hours to metabolise caffeine, so drinking or eating foods with caffeine is not recommended within several hours of going to bed. It’s important to remember that people react to caffeine differently, so find a pattern of consumption that works for you.

Can the sugar

As most of us are aware, sugar has been tied to a list of weight and sleep problems. I am not saying you have to cut out products that contain sugar all together, because to be honest this would be a big change for most of us (myself included). Opt for sugar-free products or substitute sugar for honey where possible. Remember that sugar gives you a temporary energy boost, so it’s best to avoid it and other processed foods shortly before bed.

Beef up your B vitamins

In addition to helping your body convert the food you eat into energy, vitamin B-12 is also needed to make DNA, RNA and red blood cells. A 2013 study published in Medicinski Glasnik found an association between obesity and low vitamin B-12 levels. The authors of the study suggest routine testing of vitamin B-12 levels for those who struggle with their weight, supplementing as needed.

Increase your calcium intake

There’s a reason why the ‘glass of warm milk’ adage has become so popular. Several studies have shown that certain minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, are natural sleep aids because they help regulate the body’s normal sleep cycles. To keep your sleep and weight functioning normally, aim to consume three to four servings of low-fat or non-fat dairy each day, or add calcium supplements to your diet.