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Stay Slim by Sticking to a Regular Sleep Routine

Keep the pounds off by going to bed at a set time each night

When watching your figure, your diet and level of exercise are not the only factors which you should moderate. Research from Dr Cathy Wyse from the University of Aberdeen has revealed that sticking to a schedule when eating and going to sleep at night can improve your natural rhythm, in turn improving your metabolism. In addition, the results showed that sleeping in a totally dark room can improve the quality of sleep.

The Stresses of Modern Life

With hectic lifestyles, busy work schedules and trying to squeeze in a social life on top of that, the time we go to bed each night can vary dramatically. Our bodies operate on a cycle on which sleeping, waking and digesting food all lie. According to Dr. Wyse, the natural synchronisation between humans the sun was ruined upon the introduction of electric lighting within our homes, allowing us to extend our days unnaturally. When the natural pattern between the light and dark is broken, the body clock, formally referred to as the circadian rhythm, can cause changes to genes in the liver. The changes can affect the breakdown of fat and glucose, leading to weight gain.

Dr. Wyse revealed that, "Over the last century, daily rhythms in meal, sleep and working times have gradually disappeared from our lives. The human clock struggles to remain tuned to our highly irregular lifestyles and I believe this causes metabolic and other health problems, and makes us more likely to become obese."

Heart Disease for Insomniacs

If problems getting to sleep become a regular occurrence, research has shown that it can lead to an increase in the risk of heart-related death. Dr Francesco Sofi from the University of Florence states that those who suffer from insomnia are 45% more at risk from heart disease compared to those who sleep well. His study, which was carried out on 122,500 patients, focused on links to heart disease to the quality of sleep rather than the duration.

Image by RelaxingMusic on flickr