Burn More Calories with This Lazy Habit
This Week's Tips
• Peel This Tropical Treat for Blood Pressure
Want to burn more calories during the day? Then hit the snooze button.
Seriously. Recent research shows how a sleep deficit does more than foster cappuccino cravings. A lack of slumber may also increase your risk for weight gain -- even if you're not overeating.
Sleepless and Sinking
In a study, middle-aged women who slept 5 hours or less per night gained more weight than the women getting 7 or more hours of shut-eye nightly. And the sleepless set was at much higher risk of gaining significant weight -- as much as 33 pounds -- during the 16-year study. Whoa! Women who slept 6 or fewer hours nightly also tended to gain a bit more weight than the 7-hour sleepers. (Understand your personal sleep gap better with this quiz.)
The truly big surprise of the study? The short sleepers weren't raiding the cookie jar. In fact, they took in about 50 fewer calories than their skinnier, longer-sleeping peers. All of which left the researchers to speculate that a lack of sleep may somehow depress metabolism, so people burn fewer calories around the clock. Missing out on deep, restorative REM sleep could also alter hormones in as yet undiscovered ways linked to higher body weights. Better hit the hay happy -- and sleep better -- with these steps:
• Jot down your worries. Putting your concerns on paper can help you sleep better.
• Sleep solo. Your deepest sleep might be had by sleeping single in a double bed.
• Log out of Facebook earlier. Computer and TV light can scramble your body's natural sleep-wake cycles.
• Pull on some wooly socks. It helps your body release heat as a prelude to slumber.
Getting 6 to 8 hours of sleep per night can make your RealAge as much as 3 years younger.