UPDATE (January 10, 2018) — If one thing's for sure, it's that 2018 is starting out a lot better than last year. Thanks to new research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, we can now confirm that the "sleep diet" is an actual thing.
If you aren't a fan of typical calorie-restricted diets, then you're going to be thrilled about what scientists at King's College in London have to say about the "sleep diet." Apparently, researchers asked a group of 21 individuals to participate in a 45-minute sleep consultation during which members of the group were given tips to help them lengthen their sleep time, like reducing their caffeine intake and playing relaxing music before bed (think Kenny G. tunes).
Throughout the study, participants were asked to keep sleep diaries. They were also asked to wear motion sensors that would detect how long they slept and how long they spent stewing in bed before actually falling asleep.
In the end, researchers found out longer and better sleep equals healthier choices. Which means? Weight loss!
"We have shown that sleep habits can be changed with relative ease in healthy adults using a personalized approach," lead researcher Haya Al Khatib told MedicalNewsToday. "Our results also suggest that increasing time in bed for an hour or so longer may lead to healthier food choices. This further strengthens the link between short sleep and poorer-quality diets that has already been observed by previous studies."
Before you rush out the door to buy a new mattress, take into consideration that this study only involved 21 people in the course of one week, which means there's a lot more research to be done. But the positive results are enough to get us excited about the possibilities — and about turning on some Kenny G. tonight before we turn off the lights!
ORIGINAL (August 25, 2017) — At first glance, the phrase "sleep diet" may seem a little strange. But trust us: After you hear about what a sleep diet really entails, you'll be all the way on board with trying it.
First off, the sleep diet has nothing to do with eating. Based on research, it's a proven way to get you a lot healthier than you are right now. And all you have to do is... sleep. Yes, really. Not in excessive amounts; not right before or after you eat. You just need to sleep well, and sleep enough.
Hear us out: A study published in The Lancet says that sleep is crucially important for metabolic function and hormone stability. Not only does metabolism play a huge role in weight loss, it also can lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
If that alone doesn't convince you, consider another study that found that not getting enough sleep contributed to a sharp decrease in leptin — which is the hormone responsible for regulating fat storage. On top of that, it also pointed to an increase in appetite. Yikes!
So what does this mysterious sleep diet entail?
Sleep diet basics
First, you need to set a time frame for yourself to go on the diet — perhaps a week or so. Then, you need to figure out how much sleep you really want to get and when you need to go to bed in order to get that magic number of hours. Make a point to write it down so that you actually commit to the plan. And then, for the time frame of your diet, stick to that set bedtime. That's it.
It's easier said than done, but remember: There's never been a better time — or a better reason — to start catching those zzzs!
h/t Fox News