This was a really interesting theory to look in to. You know how it is, I regularly burn the candle at both ends, going to bed between 11-12pm and then waking up to the sound of my alarm at 6am feeling horrendous and my body feeling tired and limp.

The odd night I actually have enough sleep, especially if I have trained I wake up feeling great, rested, repaired and in a much better mind set. Here are a few really interesting facts about the correlation between sleep and weight loss, that have motivated me to switch my light off a little bit earlier every evening.

An early night stops late-night snacking: the longer you’re awake, the more likely you are to consume calories you don’t actually need, this can cause you to gain up to two pounds a week, research has been done highlighting that a late night can add up to a shocking 550 calories to your daily intake which over the course of a week can really start to add up.

Sleep helps you burn more calories
: not only do you have more energy to take on the day after a good night’s sleep, but your body will also burn calories repairing your muscles, even when you’re not working out.

Sleep boosts fat loss
: sharing the same diet as a friend, results will be different if you’re not getting the sleep your body needs, you won’t drop as much fat.

Sleep sorts your mindset
: never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry—or exhausted. It is inevitable that when your tired you will crave carbs and sugar, it’s your body’s way of keeping going with hits of instant energy, so get the right amount of sleep and you will be reaching for the bananas not a snickers.

Sleep keeps your brain focused
: the brain functions differently without sleep. your willpower will be weakened and you will again be reaching for high-calorie foods for that sugar hit. It’s also been proven that people are a lot more likely to overeat when they are tired due to chemical in-balances in the brain . (Tiredness induces increased activation in the insular cortex, which regulates pleasure-seeking behaviors. Importantly, unhealthy food activates this region more than healthy food, which means that skipping out on sleep could make it harder to skip out on a trip to the vending machine).

Here are some really useful tips to try and improve your sleep patterns

Turkey makes you tired!

Don’t count sheep, eat lamb or a bit of turkey. Tryptophan which is an amino acid found in most meats, has demonstrated powerful sleep-inducing effects, it can even increase the amount of deep sleep you have at night., this in turn can translate into easy weight loss. The National Sleep Foundation suggests seven to eight hours of sleep for most adults.

Strict Kitchen Hours

Night time fasting may help you lose more weight, even if you eat more food throughout the day, it has been shown that this 16 hour fasting at night can really help to boost weight loss.

Protein before bed

Having a protein shake before hitting the hay may help boost your metabolism. Protein is more thermogenic than carbs or fat, meaning your body burns more calories digesting it, so you are burning more calories while you sleep.


Certain scents can make your mouth water, and others can actually suppress your appetite. A recent study found that people who sniffed peppermint every two hours lost an average of 5 pounds a month! Banana, green apple, and vanilla had similar effects. Consider burning a minty candle until you head to bed to fill the room with slimming smells. If you don’t want to bother with blowing out candles before you turn down the covers, try adding a few drops of peppermint oil to your pillow.

Let in the cold

A striking new study published suggests that simply blasting the air conditioner or turning down the heat in winter may help us attack belly fat while we sleep. Colder temperatures subtly enhance the effectiveness of our stores of brown fat—fat keeps you warm by helping you burn through the fat stored in your belly. Participants spent a few weeks sleeping in bedrooms with varying temperatures: a neutral 75 degrees, a cool 66 degrees, and a balmy 81 degrees. After four weeks of sleeping at 66 degrees, the subjects had almost doubled their volumes of brown fat. (And yes, that means they lost belly fat.)

Hide the iPad and switch off the TV

Research suggests that the more electronics we bring into the bedroom, the fatter we get. The bedroom should be for sleeping only, the more technology you bring in the more stimulated you are and the longer you stay awake. I’ve opted for a book in place of my Ipad to give me a push in the right direction as I’ve always found switching off at night a tricky one.

All these facts are all pretty incredible and highlight the importance of taking care of our bodies and getting enough sleep, so tonight try one of these out, it doesn’t take long to form new habits so make yours about getting more sleep and watching those pounds slip away!

By Georgina Hannay