Sleep is the cornerstone of good health and your bad bedtime habits are an important part of the puzzle. If you’re trying to lose weight but just can’t seem to fight the flab, take a look at whether you’re committing these cardinal weight gain sins at bedtime and you’ll soon be saying goodbye to those extra kilos:
1. You're Eating While Watching TV
This is a hard one because it’s natural to want to have something on hand to munch on while you’re gripped by the scenes in that horror movie but eating in front of the TV is a recipe for disaster and by the time you realise it you’re holding onto an empty bag of potato chips. Try putting whatever snack you’re planning to eat in a bowl so that you’ll stop when you reach the bottom.
2. You're Not Going To Bed On Time
According to research from Harvard University, women who slept five hours a night or less were 30 percent more likely to gain up to 13 kilograms over the course of the 16-year study. Adults should ideally be getting 8 to 9 hours sleep but up to one-third of us fall short of this quota and it’s having a negative impact on our waistlines.
3. You're Not Compensating For After Dinner Snacks
If you’re going for dessert after having a big meal those extra calories are going to catch up with you and you are going to put on weight. Try to budget the amount of sweet treats you’re having and try to factor in more exercise or some sort of physical activity to compensate for the snacks you’re having.
(Read more: 10 Easy Ways To Increase Your Metabolism)
4. You're Setting Your Alarm Too Late
Skipping breakfast can have a detrimental effect on your weight but many people find the morning rush just too hectic and don’t bother the most important meal of the day at all. If this is you, then try setting your alarm earlier before bedtime so you’ll have enough time in the morning to fuel up and keep your stress levels down.
5. You're Using Your Electronics Before Bed
The blue light emitted by the LEDs in your phone, laptop, and television can affect your sleep cycles, so it’s best to log off at least an hour before bedtime. Remember, if you’re not sleeping properly that means your body can’t work properly to dispel unnecessary fat from your system.
6. You're Drinking Alcohol Nightly
Not only is alcohol loaded with empty calories, but that glass of wine before bed can disrupt your sleep cycles so you’re going to end up degrading the quality of your sleep. Research shows that not getting enough sleep makes you more likely to crave unhealthy foods!
7. You're Not On A Strict Sleep Schedule
If you have an irregular sleeping schedule it can sabotage your weight-loss efforts because you’re just not reaching the deep sleep you need to maintain a healthy mind and body. Try going to bed at the same time each night to train your body to get the sleep that it needs and you’ll be doing your waistline a favour.