Wake Up to Slim Down: How Your Alarm Clock Can Be Your Weight-Loss Buddy

Trying to lose weight? It’s time to make your alarm clock your new best friend. According to researchers at Brigham Young University, setting a consistent wake-up time and getting the right amount of sleep can help you control your waistline.

In a study focusing on the weight of 300 women, researchers found that sticking to a consistent bedtime and wake-up time is linked to having less body fat. Additionally, sleeping less than 6.5 hours a night or more than 8.5 hours can actually increase your risk of having too much body fat.

The importance of sleep

Sleep plays a significant role in weight loss, and not just because it helps regulate your metabolism. A good night’s sleep can also help you make healthier food choices throughout the day. When you’re tired, your brain craves high-calorie, sugary foods for a quick energy boost. But, of course, these are the types of foods you want to avoid if you’re looking to shed pounds.

Quality sleep matters

Not only is the quantity of sleep important, but the quality of your sleep matters, too. The aforementioned study also found that sleeping in a dark, quiet, cool room and not waking up during the night is linked to having less body fat.

Tips for a good night’s sleep

To achieve a good night’s sleep that is conducive to keeping off body fat, researchers recommend the following:

  1. Exercise: Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and enjoy a deeper sleep. Just be sure not to exercise too close to bedtime, as this could have the opposite effect.

  2. Keep it cool: Around 65°F (18.3°C) is the ideal bedroom temperature for most people, but feel free to adjust it to your own preference. Cooler rooms promote better sleep, which can help with weight loss.

  3. Minimize noise and light: Investing in blackout curtains, wearing an eye mask, and using earplugs or a white noise machine can help block out disturbances that could interrupt your sleep.

  4. Create a sleep sanctuary: Use your bed only for sleeping and avoid activities like watching TV, working on your laptop, or scrolling through your phone in bed. By associating your bed strictly with sleep, you’ll find it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.

  5. Establish a bedtime routine: Train your body to recognize when it’s time to wind down by creating a relaxing bedtime ritual. This could involve reading a book, listening to calming music, or practicing gentle stretches or yoga.

  6. Watch your diet: Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol close to bedtime, as these can interfere with your sleep. If you’re hungry before bed, opt for a light, healthy snack instead.

  7. Be consistent: Try to stick to the same sleep and wake times every day, even on weekends. This consistency can help regulate your body’s internal clock, making it easier to both fall asleep and wake up in the morning.

Remember, sleep is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. Sacrificing sleep for the sake of being more productive is a common mistake, especially among college students. However, prioritizing sleep is essential for overall health and weight management. So make friends with your alarm clock and commit to a regular sleep schedule — your waistline will thank you.