There was a study undertaken at the University of Pennsylvania that demonstrated that healthy people who stay up late, and don’t get a good night’s sleep are more likely to indulge in fatty foods, and consequently gain weight! Their conclusion is that sleep restrictions result in weight gain.
So, how to avoid staying up so late and reducing your sleep time and increasing your snacking time?
One of the quickest methods for avoiding the cravings is to keep the high-calorie, high-fat food options out of your fridge—what’s not there can’t hurt you.
In addition, here are some tips for helping to put your night-owl self to bed earlier:
- Turn off the TV and other electronic devices. The light from these tools you use to relax during the later hours are actually messing with your natural melatonin production, and your ability to fall asleep. Try reading a book or listening to music or an audio book to help your body relax and get into sleep mode. Put the e-readers to one side at this time of night!
- Reduce caffeine intake earlier in the day. Depending on your body’s response to caffeine, it’s effects can linger for up to eight hours and affect your ability to fall asleep. If you know you’re sensitive to caffeine, aim to be caffeine-free by about 2 p.m.
- Exercise earlier, not later. A known benefit for a good night’s sleep, exercise can also make it difficult for the body to wind down after. Try exercising in the morning or an earlier time if you’re a regular evening exerciser so that your body has a chance to wind down properly.
- Enjoy a hot bath. Having a hot bath about an hour before bedtime can help you and your muscles relax. It can also increase your core temperature. Then, when you leave the bath your core temperature will drop and cause a natural release of melatonin, the hormone that tells you to go to sleep.
Fabulous, enjoy your early night, long sleep and no cravings!