It’s no secret that falling asleep is a challenge for many of us. Unfortunately, when it comes to weight loss, getting enough solid sleep is an absolute necessity. So before you hit the sheets, consider trying this wind-down routine for weight loss and quality Z’s.
Being chronically underslept often makes you feel hungrier alongside other negative metabolic effects, which is an absolute recipe for weight gain. This is certainly not the outcome you want—especially when you’re working out and eating healthy. That being said, prioritizing great sleep is a must if you are serious about shedding those extra pounds.
The following is a breakdown of my top bedtime routine for weight loss you can try tonight. Keep reading to learn more about it, and next, don’t miss 5 Little Things You Can Do Every Day To Lose a Lot of Weight.
Turn off screens well before bed.
Screens are everywhere, and unfortunately, watching your favorite shows won’t do your sleep any good. The stimulating effect of screen usage can make it more difficult to fall asleep when used too close to bedtime, according to Sutter Health.
I recommend stopping screen usage two to three hours before bed—especially smartphone screens and tablets. Instead, spend your wind-down time reading a book, playing a card game, or doing another activity that doesn’t depend on screens.
Perform end-of-day self-care.
Regardless of what your day entails, it’s important to take some time to refresh yourself with a little self-care before bedtime. This could be a hot shower or a relaxing bubble bath to get rid of the dirt and sweat from the day, or a simple face cleanse if you don’t need a full shower. This is a good time to perform any soothing skincare routines, moisturizing, flossing and brushing, and similar self-care activities before bed. You can even light your favorite scented candle and put on a face mask for extra TLC.
Complete 15 minutes of light stretching.
Performing a 15-minute stretching routine before bed is a great way to reset your body, relax your muscles, and help you fall asleep with fewer aches and pains. I recommend the following stretches held for two sets of 60 to 90 seconds:
- Child’s pose
- Hip flexor stretch
- Hamstring stretch
- Glute stretch
Perform two to three sets of belly breaths.
Belly breathing is a good way to finalize your relaxation before bed. To perform belly breaths, lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent pointing upward. Place your hands on your belly, one on top of the other, and close your eyes (optional). Inhale deeply through your nose as you expand your chest, diaphragm, and belly. Exhale your breath at a medium pace, and allow your chest and belly to naturally sink down as the air leaves your lungs. Repeat for two to three sets of 10 breaths, or do 30 to 60.
Turn off all lights.
To finalize your bedtime routine for weight loss, it’s important to turn off all the lights in the area where you will sleep. This includes nightlights, glowing LEDs from devices, blocking out exterior light with a curtain, and of course, turning off all screens.
Sleeping in near complete darkness is better than sleeping in a room with any lights for getting quality sleep. Overall, the fewer screens and lights you use around bedtime, the easier it will be to fall asleep.