Sleep is an important part of our life, but it does more than just make us feel well-rested when we wake up in the morning. Our body resets itself when we rest, so why not take advantage of this time and perhaps figure out ways to boost our metabolism while we sleep? Just like you can fire up your metabolism during the day, you can also pick up habits that can help you burn more while you slumber.
"The body requires energy to do absolutely everything — talking, walking, blinking, breathing," says Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN over email. "Basil Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the term we use for how much our bodies burn taking care of these actions. Many factors influence our BMR, including size, gender, age, genetics and hormones. The final factor of the equation is the most variable and the only part you control entirely. Like it or not, these are the calories torched during physical activity, through your eating habits, and whether you’re at the gym or on a walk to work."
If you want to keep your metabolism revved up while you're asleep, try these seven tips to help your body burn more while you snooze.
1. Drink Lots Of Water
"During sleep, your body naturally dehydrates," says Beth Warren, MS, RDN, CDN, over email. "Waking up and drinking 20 to 32 ounces of water will help reawaken your metabolism. Drinking water, throughout the day, which boosts metabolism by 30 percent, will help counteract dehydration while sleeping."
2. Limit Alcohol
"Although alcohol may make you cause you to fall into a deep sleep, it will disrupt it, affecting your quality of sleep," says Warren. Not only will sleep-deprivation negatively affect your metabolism, but alcohol puts a temporary pause on your metabolism to break down the liquor.
3. Exercise During The Day
Exercising at any time of day helps boost your metabolism, but doing your workouts in the morning or afternoon can help align your body with its natural circadian rhythms, which can also improve your sleep. "If you exercise at night, it may affect your sleep patterns," says Warren.
4. Eat Light At Night
"Eating heavy meals late at night disrupts your body’s natural rhythm and feelings of hunger and fullness," says Warren. "Eat light at night to ensure a good sleep that will burn your nighttime eating, so you can awaken hungry in the morning, starting your metabolism bright and early."
5. Eat Throughout The Day
"Timing your meals during the day to eat about every three hours helps keep your metabolism in check, prepping for the nighttime sleep without food," says Warren. "Waking up and starting to eat within one hour helps get the metabolism moving again and keeps cortisol, the stress hormone, at bay."
6. Have Some Green Tea
Unwind in the evening with a cup of green tea. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that green tea has thermogenic properties and can raise metabolic rates. Just be careful to not have it too close to bedtime, or you might find the caffeine keeps you awake.
7. Weight Lift
"You want as much of this metabolically active tissue as possible, and the one way to get more is by building more," says Glassman. "The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn just sitting around and while sleeping. You don’t stop burning calories at the gym — you continue to burn on your way home and all through the night."
If you keep up on healthy nighttime habits, you'll be sure to keep your metabolism working properly while you sleep.
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