If you want to lose weight, try getting a little extra sleep. A recent study from the National Institutes of Health connects weight loss with adequate rest. Six to eight hours was the magic number. In fact, another recent study revealed that sleep-deprived New Yorkers tended to overeat and turn to unhealthy foods. Tired subjects ate 300 more calories a day than well-rested participants. When you get fatigued, hormones that regulate appetite increase-many people experience unhealthy cravings after a restless night.
Trying to practice good sleeping habits is even more important than following a rigid number of required hours. Allowing yourself to get fatigued during the week and then attempting to catch-up on sleep over the weekend is a recipe for weight gain. This hectic schedule disrupts your natural sleep cycle.
Instead, adhere to a regular "sleep schedule." Getting to sleep and waking up at consistent times is an important first step. Controlling caffeine intake later in the day and avoiding alcoholic nightcaps can help your sleep schedule succeed, too. Electronic entertainment right before bed isn't a great idea either-read a relaxing book as an alternative to TV.
If you want to get more sleep, a few simple lifestyle changes can make a world of difference. Then, reward yourself for a good night's sleep with these chocolate pancakes!