Are you trying to lose weight by cutting down on junk food and exercising every day—yet still not getting the results you want? The solution might be as simple as what you’re doing for 7–9 hours each day. That’s right, a good night’s sleep could be the key to a healthy and fitter you.

A study by Columbia University found that people who sleep less than six hours a night tend to be on the heavier side; they gain weight easier and also have trouble losing it. Along with crankiness and lack of focus, sleep deprivation results in weight gain.

Here are some reasons you should hit the sack and put an end to those late nights for a healthier version of yourself:

Sleep Boosts Weight Loss

Even though you may be eating healthy and exercising regularly, lack of sleep may hamper your weight-loss efforts. Another study conducted by the University of Chicago found that individuals who sleep seven hours a night tend to drop more weight than those who get only five hours, even though both may be consuming the same amount of calories. This is because when you don’t get enough sleep, your body’s ability to process insulin—the hormone that changes sugar and starch into energy—becomes weak. When your body’s reaction to insulin is not normal, you tend to store fat instead of processing it from your bloodstream. Therefore, your metabolism is weakened.

Lack of Sleep Makes You Crave Unhealthy Foods

Researchers have found that when you don’t get enough sleep, your cortisol levels rise. Cortisol is a stress hormone that activates the reward centers of your brain, making you crave certain foods, especially those high in sugar and fat. Lack of sleep may also leave you feeling unsatisfied, even after a hearty meal. You are left hungry and looking to snack, regardless of the foods’ health benefits.

Lack of sleep also results in lack of clarity. You may make impulsive decisions, such as eating that tub of ice cream when you shouldn’t. You may have troubles fighting your urges and may also consume bigger portions than usual.

Sleep Improves the Effects of Exercise

There’s no doubt that a good night’s sleep leaves you feeling fresher and more energetic. This means that not only are you able to exercise better and more rigorously, but you are also able to burn calories faster. Researchers have found that those who sleep well at night have a higher metabolism, which means they burn calories long after their workout routines have ended.

Get the Sleep You Need

It’s time to stop letting sleep deprivation get in the way of you reaching your goal weight. Sleep is as important to your fitness routine as diet and exercise, and when it comes to sleep,quality is just as important as quantity.

To get a handle on your quality of sleep, follow these suggestions:

  1. Make your bedroom a device-free zone. Switch off your phone, laptop, tablet, and television an hour before you hit the sack.
  2. Decorate your room in a way that is relaxing. Use sleep-inducing colors such as blue and grey.
  3. Watch what you eat before you head to sleep. Try to leave at least two hours between dinner and bedtime. Avoid sugar, coffee, soda, and any other foods that may cause heartburn and discomfort.
  4. Reduce the amount of light in your bedroom. Darkness makes you sleepy and helps your brain release the sleep hormone melatonin.
  5. Take a warm bath, read a book,or meditate to feel relaxed and calm.
  6. Try to sleep at the same time every day. This will help set your body clock and allow you to fall asleep easier.
  7. Avoid taking naps during the day.
  8. Reduce the amount of noise around you at bedtime.

Good Sleep + CoolSculpting = A Winning Combination

There are many factors in play to create your ideal image, including diet, exercise, and sleep. While all of those things are working together in harmony, one addition could make them work faster and even more effectively: CoolSculpting.

This patented, non-invasive treatment painlessly eliminates your excess fat cells by freezing them. Give us an hour, and our Bodify technicians will get you on your way. During the next couple of months, the frozen fat will be naturally flushed from your body, leaving you with fewer inches and looser-fitting clothes.

Take a look at our before-and-after photos to see what we’ve done for other clients—and can do for you. As a bonus, we’ll even let you catch a few Z’s while you’re getting your treatment. What could be better than that?