Breaking a sweat
Breaking a sweat before bed may seem like a good idea to tire you out but, if you exercise under two hours before sleep, you could be harming your weight loss efforts. Exercise raises your adrenaline levels and core body temperature, both of which are supposed to naturally decrease as you get ready for bed. This may make it harder to fall or stay asleep.
You reach for a nightcap
Of course, a nice glass of wine will always help you to relax. However, it prevents you from full indulging into your REM (Rapid Eye Movement) cycle, which is when true rest and dreaming occurs. As a result, you’ll wake up feeling less rested – which has links to poor food choices and reduced energy to exercise.
You stay up until the early hours
If we don’t get enough sleep, our hunger hormones are negatively affected – confusing your body’s ability to determine hunger, when it should stop burning calories, and when it should store energy as fat. So, to avoid eating more the next day and craving high-calorie foods, ensure you aren’t staying up too late!
Dinner is your biggest meal
Leaving your largest meal for later in the day may prevent you from sleeping soundly. It has been found that if we eat big meals before we go to bed, our body will have trouble relaxing afterwards as there’s a lot of blood flow required in digestion, which can be disruptive. Long nights tossing and turning in bed will mean that your slimming-down process will suffer.
You breeze through dinner
If you are starving by the time you get home, then you’re more likely to scarf down your dinner. However, this can cause you to take in more calories than your body needs, storing any excess food as fat. It takes around 20 minutes for your stomach to give a message to your brain that you’re full.
You brew a cup of tea before bed
Yes – green tea is rich in metabolism-boosting antioxidants. However, sipping on this slimming drink should be saved for the AM! Unless a solely herbal blend, tea leaves contain caffeine – a stimulant that keeps your mind alert and active. This could prevent you from getting a restorative night’s sleep and, as a result, will make you feel groggy and unprepared for the day, encouraging unhealthy cravings.
You eat in your bed
Family dinners at the table aren’t just for bonding time, the habit of sitting at a table to eat will also do your body the world of good. It allows you to focus on the task at hand: eating. If you eat in your bed, your brain will have to multitask. Distracted eating causes your brain to miss satiety cues and will cause you to overeat.
You always have a treat before bed
We aren’t saying a sweet snack is always a no-no! When it becomes a daily habit, though, it can lead you to pile on the pounds. You should feel satisfied after dinner so, if you find yourself searching for cookies before bed, it’s likely that you’ve conditioned yourself to believe eating only ends after sugar – or your meals aren’t balanced.
You have ‘low calorie’ treats
You’re not off the hook with Halo Top, either! A study discovered that chronic consumption of artificial sweeteners can cause your brain to recalibrate its association with treats and energy. As a result, you may consume up to 30% more calories overall due to cravings. Another study found a link between zero-sugar additives and sleep quality, disturbing your gut’s ability to fend weight-inducing inflammation.
You choose the wrong late-night snack
Quesadillas may be tasty, but they aren’t the best choice if you are trying to quiet your hunger before bed. High-fat snacks can keep your body up working to digest these high-density foods. These high-sugar snacks can cause spikes and crashes into your blood sugar, causing you to wake up in the middle of the night hungry.
Drinking too much water
While it’s good to stay hydrated, you want to avoid chugging high quantities of h20 before you hit the hay. Drinking excess amounts of water can cause the urge to urinate during the night, disrupting your sleep and making it harder for you to shift any extra weight.
Too much screen time
It may be hard to believe, but scrolling through your phone of a night can cause you to carry extra pounds the next day. Blue light emitted by your device can prevent you from falling into a deep sleep cycle, preventing your body from effectively burning fat. Put your phone down and watch the weight fall off you!
Having your furry friends in bed
As much as you may love your pet, it may be detrimental to have them sleeping in your bed. If they frequently fidget, they be drastically impacting the quality of your sleep. The worse night’s sleep you have, the less efficient your body becomes at burning fat.
Watching TV in bed
Nothing’s quite as relaxing as watching a good movie in bed. Unfortunately, doing so may be hindering the amount of shut eye you have. The blue light emissions and high levels of mental stimulation have been proven to drastically lower your amount of deep sleep, leading to fat reserves clinging to your body.
Not having a sleeping schedule
It’s important that you try and go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day, every day. Doing so preps your body for both activities and rest, allowing it to know when it’s time to burn fat or store it. Implementing a solid sleeping schedule will see you dropping those extra pounds in no time.
Eating too much during the day
No matter what you do at night, if you’re eating vast quantities of food throughout the day, you’re going to put on weight. Try and eat a balanced diet, ensuring that you pump your body with all the necessary minerals and vitamins it needs to properly function.
Sleeping in a room that’s too hot
You may think that cranking up your thermostat will allow you to sweat out any excess pounds overnight. Unfortunately, that’s not quite the case. Sweating throughout the night will only result in you becoming dehydrated, causing frequent wake ups throughout the early hours. Sleep in a cool room for a better night’s shut eye.
Eating sugary foods during the day
While we all enjoy some candy every now and then, you want to avoid making it a daily habit. Eating lots of sugar will prevent you from falling asleep, with your mind running on high alert. Furthermore, your body will have great difficulty in breaking down the sugar, leading to weight gain.
Sleeping in a room that’s too loud
If you live in a busy area – or have noisy family members – consider playing some white noise as you slumber. It blocks out all external noise, allowing you to slip into a more peaceful slumber. The deeper your sleep is, the easier it is for you to lose weight.
Going to bed stressed
If there’s something on your mind, it’s best to try and resolve the issue before your head hits the pillow. Otherwise, you may wake up with frequent bouts of anxiety all throughout the night, disrupting your sleep. Try stretching, yoga, or meditation before bed to slip into a stress-free slumber.
Napping during the day
Try to fight off the urge to nap during the afternoon. While you may think you need to catch up on snoozing, it’ll impair your ability to drift off later in the evening. Staying awake late can cause you to eat more, alongside not giving your body the proper chance to slip into a deep rest.
Sleeping in a room that’s too bright
If your blinds or curtains aren’t up to standard, you’ll likely find yourself waking up earlier than you’d like. This can prevent your body from being able to shift weight, causing pesky areas like your stomach to hoard onto fat. Invest in a sleeping mask to have a deeper, more impactful rest.
Being bored of an evening
If you’re bored, your mind will desperately seek any form of stimulation. This can come in the form of binge eating, stuffing your face full of snacks when you aren’t particularly hungry. In turn, this will mean your body clings onto calories overnight, making you feel sluggish the next day.
Many smokers enjoy a post-dinner cigarette, satisfying their cravings before they hit the hay. However, smoking before bed pumps your body full of additives, meaning you’ll have a lackluster sleep. With poor sleep comes poor digestion, resulting in your body clinging onto more fat reserves.
You don’t drink enough water
While you don’t want to drink too much water before bed, you always want to ensure that you’re not going to sleep dehydrated. If you do, you’ll wake up frequently throughout the night, disrupting your deep sleep cycles. Have a glass of water next to your bed to sip on to ensure you remain nice and hydrated.
Too much salt
A diet that’s high in salt will result in a poor night’s sleep. Consuming too much of the condiment has been linked to increased levels of snoring and sleep apnea – both of which you want to avoid if you’re looking to drift into a peaceful slumber. Swap salt out for herbs and spices for a healthier lifestyle.
You skip dinner
You want to ensure that you’re eating around the same time every single day. This way, your body gets into a rhythm of digestion, knowing when it’s time to battle fat, and when it’s time to store it. Although you’re eating less, skipping dinner can cause your body to cling onto fat reserves, making you put on weight.
Lounging around after dinner
When dinner’s done and the washing up has all been put away, all you want to do is lay around on the couch. Try to resist this urge – the best thing you can do is get up and go for a 30-minute walk. This will kickstart your body into digesting your meal, helping you to have a more beneficial sleep.
Your medications are impacting your sleep
Certain medications can affect both your sleep quality and your weight. All medications are different, with side effects differing from person to person. Speak to your doctor if you’re concerned about any nighttime medications effecting your weight – they may be able to offer you an alternative.
You go to bed hungry
You may think that going to bed hungry will result in weight loss. In fact, the opposite is true. If you starve your body for extended periods of time, your nervous system will have no choice but to cling onto any food it finds, storing them as fat reserves. Ensure you eat at regular mealtimes to keep your body from going into starvation mode.
You do work before bed
All work and no play makes for a poor night’s sleep. Your brain loves routine, knowing when it’s time to focus and when it’s time to unwind. If you’re replying to work emails in bed, your body struggles to know when it’s time to switch off, giving you a worse night’s sleep – and poor sleep equals poor weight management.
Too much spice
There’s a reason why you break out into a sweat when you eat spicy foods. Chilies and hot sauce raise your body’s internal temperature, causing hot flushes. Eating these spicy snacks before you hit the hay will mean you’re going to bed hot – something you want to avoid if you’re looking for a solid eight hour’s sleep to aid in shifting those extra few pounds.
You don’t brush your teeth after dinner
Cleaning your teeth isn’t just important for your dental hygiene – it can also affect your eating habits. Humans are habitual creatures, learning things through repeated practice. As such, if you clean your teeth after dinnertime, it’ll teach your mind that the time for eating is over, curbing those late-night cravings.
You don’t get enough sun
The amount of sunlight you soak up during the day can directly correlate to how well you sleep at night. Your body runs on a circadian clock – responding to light and darkness as cues to be both alert and sleepy. If you’re not getting enough sunlight during the day, your body will be unsure as to when it’s time to sleep – resulting in potential weight gain.
You have the wrong mattress
Everything needs updating once in a while, including your mattress. Sleeping with springs digging into your back will result in a night spent tossing and turning, preventing you from slipping into a REM sleep cycle. The less sleep you have, the more likely you are to carry a few extra pounds – making changing your mattress vitally important.
Your PJs aren’t comfy
Don’t underestimate how important comfort is when it comes to sleep. If you’re wearing pajamas that are too restrictive, you may find that your sleep suffers. Wear soft, loose-fitting clothing items to ensure you have an unbroken sleep, allowing your body to function on top form.
Sleeping in a room that’s too cold
You don’t want your bedroom to be too hot – but nor do you want it to be too cold. A freezing bedroom will cause you to wake up throughout the night, with your body kicking your mind into gear in order to warm yourself up. The ideal sleeping temperature is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
You do everything in your bedroom
Ideally, you want your bedroom to be for sleep and sleep alone. You should work in a separate room, alongside having a different location for watching TV. Doing everything in the same location will confuse the brain, with your body not knowing when it’s time to drift off. For faster weight loss, ensure you get the best sleep possible by only sleeping in your bedroom.
You’re sleeping too much
Although getting plenty of sleep is important for maintaining your weight, you don’t want to overdo it. Having too much sleep can cause you to awaken feeling groggy, reducing your chances of hitting up the gym. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep a night for your body to function on top form.
Sleeping in too late
Many of us skip breakfast, choosing to snooze our alarm for an extra half an hour instead of having a bowl of cereal. This is a huge error when it comes to weight loss. Starting your day with a healthy breakfast can give you more energy and keep hunger at bay, meaning you’re less likely to snack as the day goes on.