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Sleep-The Next Great Weight Loss 'Pill'

Updated on September 6, 2014

How Much Sleep do You Get?

Sleep is not only good for babies, it is good for grandparents. A new study released in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, states people 50 years and older think better when they receive 6 to 9 hours of sleep. Brain cells are strengthened with more sleep, helping adult’s process information.

Grandparents can even look better with more sleep. Research done at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, found signs of premature skin aging, uneven skin tone and less elasticity in adults getting less than six hours sleep.

Harvey Jay Cohen, M.D., director of the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development at Duke University in North Carolina said, “Sleep seems to help our bodies repair all the things that might have gone wrong during the day.”

Adults need about eight hours of sleep until age sixty and then six to eight hours after age sixty. Studies prove that sleep deprivation can lead to memory loss, attention deficit and mental stress, but the major concern for many is the fact that lack of sleep may lead to a desire to eat. Some studies relate a lack of sleep to increase weight gain.

Ways to Get a Good Night's Sleep

There are certain foods that promote a good night’s sleep. Chamomile tea has been marketed as a nighttime drink. The herbs do not have caffeine. These herbs promote feelings of calm and decrease the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep. Some cereals are loaded with fiber, whole gains, vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B6 helps the body produce serotonin. Serotonin helps to produce a sound nights’ sleep. Feeling stuffed after Thanksgiving dinner is usually due to the amino acid tryptophan. This amino acid acts as a neurotransmitter that produces relaxation and stable sleep. You can get the same effect from chicken, soybean, tuna, salmon and shrimp. Having toast when you can’t fall asleep is among the list of high carbohydrate foods that help tryptophan to do its job. Why not use these foods to fall asleep?

Now that you have fallen asleep, there are ways you can lose weight while sleeping. Researchers have discovered simple ways to promote weight loss while you sleep. Take vitamin D with dinner. Vitamin D plays a key role in regulating metabolism. Facts from a study done at Israel’s Ben-Gurin University found overweight women who consumed extra vitamin D were 70% more likely to drop pounds than those who’s diet was lower in vitamin D.

Sleeping requires little effort

Before going to bed, avoid bright lights. Giovanni Cizza, M.D., Ph.D., reported from a study done on cattle. The researchers extended the lights in the barn from 8 to 16 hours per day. This fattened up the cows. This bright effect can also spur weight gain in humans. Bright lights are not necessarily artificial lighting. This includes TVs, computers, smartphone and e-readers. Lower wattage bulbs are okay.

Lowering the temperature of the room you sleep in can aid weight loss. If the room is too warm, your body’s calorie-burning rate is low. Your body burns more calories to try to keep warm. Experts say the ideal temperature for sleeping is 64oF.

A good night’s sleep gives you more energy and sets you in a better mood. It also cuts your risk of high blood pressure, cuts your insulin resistance and cuts chronic pain in half. Sleeping is an act that requires very little effort on your part; you should do it more often.

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