5 Tips for Burning More Fat While You Sleep
Getting your ZZZs isn’t just a matter of fighting fatigue and ensuring pleasant mood; sleep is crucial for maintaining your health.
A lack of sleep is associated with increased occurrence of inflammation, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis. Conversely, when you get a good night’s sleep, you maintain or improve skills and knowledge committed to memory and experience better weight control, among other things.
Additionally, sleep is critical for resetting your body’s functions! One of the key functions being energy metabolism, meaning the way your body generates ATP (energy) from the nutrients in the food you eat. But as a new study shows, the type and efficiency of energy metabolism depends upon where you are in the sleep cycle.1
Sleep is divided into two distinct cycles: REM (rapid eye movement) and non-REM (NREM). REM comes in cycles about every 90 minutes throughout the night and is the cycle during which dreams occur. NREM accounts for about 80 percent of your nightly sleep and is divided into four stages of increasing depth. Stage 1 (between sleep and wakefulness) is the stage that is most susceptible to stress, while stages 3 and 4 are considered “deep sleep”.
Researchers studied the sleeping metabolic rate of 29 healthy adults. They tested the effects of sleep stage and time after sleep began on the rate of energy metabolism during sleep. They found that both energy expenditure and carbohydrate metabolism increased during deeper sleep and decreased during the first few stages of sleep.
The takeaway? To achieve optimum energy metabolism, you need not just sleep, but deep sleep every night.
Here are some simple tips to achieve this include:
- Avoid caffeine intake 4 to 6 hours before going to bed.
- Create a quiet, dark, and comfortable environment for sleeping.
- Exercise is important, but not for at least 2 hours before going to sleep.
- Eat a healthy diet and avoid large amounts of food—especially spicy, sugary, or high-fat foods—before going to sleep.
- Don’t use digital devices (cell phones, computers, and/or tablets) in the bedroom and/or at bedtime.
Kayaba M, et al. Energy metabolism differs between sleep stages and begins to increase prior to awakening. Metab Clin Experimental. April 2017:69:14-23.