While sleeping is not the miracle diet (we don’t actually believe those exist!), getting the proper amount of sleep has been linked to maintaining a healthy weight. Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same part of the brain.
Researchers at the University of Chicago found that weight loss study participants who were well rested lost more fat, 56% of their weight loss, than those who were sleep deprived, who lost more muscle mass. Another study conducted by the School of Public Health at Harvard studied 60,000 women for 16 years – all of whom started the study healthy. At the completion of the study, women who slept 5 hours or less a night had a 15% higher risk of becoming obese, compared to the women who slept 7 hours a night. Those short sleepers also had a 30% higher risk of gaining 30 pounds over the study, compared to the other group of women.
In order to give an extra healthy boost, finish eating at least 2-3 hours before bed so your body has time to digest. This way, your body can focus on metabolizing fat versus the hearty meal you just ate during sleep.
According to The Sleep Foundation, there is no magic number for hours of sleep; it varies from person to person. With that being said, the proper amount of sleep for adults generally ranges from 7-9 hours a night. Try different hours to decide what you feel is your optimal sleep duration! There are free mobile apps you can download to monitor your sleep cycle and help wake you at just the right time.