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Have you ever noticed that when you don’t sleep well, you seem to feel hungry all the time? And the things you reach for might not be the healthy options you’d planned to eat? You’re not alone. Our survey of over 3,100 Slimming World members* found that:

Three out of four Slimming World members say that their food choices are affected by poor sleep – with crisps, chocolate and sweets being the most likely go-to snacks when tired.

Our sleep study also showed that:

  • more than a third of slimmers sleep better since joining Slimming World
  • the more weight members lose, the more likely they are to report improvements in sleep
  • half of slimmers who’ve lost 15% or more of their body weight say their sleep has improved

At Slimming World, we understand how sleep can affect weight, and vice versa. It can become a vicious cycle – we reach for the high Syn foods because we’re tired, our weight goes up and we find it even harder to sleep.

how to break the vicious sleep cycle

We can help you to reverse this cycle, improving the quality of your sleep through healthy lifestyle changes. This can help to prevent those sleep-deprived slip ups that can sabotage our weight loss success. 

You can create a positive sleep cycle through:

  • Food Optimising – our eating plan makes it easy to choose healthier options, even when you’re tired
  • Support and strategies – we’ll help you to identify your danger areas around poor sleep, and equip you with ways to plan and protect your weight loss
  • Increased activity – research suggests that people sleep significantly better when they lead an active lifestyle. Our Body Magic programme will help you get active at a pace that you’re comfortable with

This can all lead to better sleep, bigger weight losses and a brilliant wellbeing boost!

Over a third of the members we surveyed said they’d been sleeping better since joining Slimming World, with many reporting that they:

  • no longer go to bed feeling too full
  • snore less
  • experience less discomfort/pain
  • make fewer night-time loo trips
  • are less likely to lie awake worrying or feeling depressed

Sleeping better means that we have more energy during the day, feel more motivated to plan and prep healthy meals and are more likely to stick to activity plans!

Ryan Money 15st weight loss transformation-my 34st wake up call-slimming world blog

MORE ON THE BLOG: “My 34st wake-up call” Bricklayer Ryan Money’s weight worries used to keep him up at night, causing him to fall asleep on the job. Find out why he’s now sleeping soundly after losing over 15st…

Tips to help you get a good night’s sleep

Although we know that there’s not always a quick fix for sleep issues, these tried-and-tested tactics could help:

🍎 Avoid eating large meals close to bedtime. If you fancy an evening snack, reach for something that’s fibre-rich and low in fat and sugar, as studies suggest that eating foods lower in fibre and higher in fat and sugar can negatively affect sleep quality. Examples could include:

  • fat-free natural Greek yogurt and sliced banana
  • carrot sticks and Slimming World hummus
  • plain popcorn
  • rice cakes
  • sliced apple and 1 level tbsp reduced-fat peanut butter

🍷 Cut down on alcohol. While it can initially cause drowsiness, which might help you to drop off, it can also lead to a restless night, early waking and a worse sleep overall. 

📱 Ban screens from the bedroom. The glare from our mobile phones, tablets and TVs delays the release of melatonin that normally helps you drop off to sleep.

🚶Enjoy a brisk walk or light stretches in the evening. Research shows gentle and moderate exercise can help you sleep better. Try to plan more strenuous activity for earlier in the day.

🛁 Build a relaxing routine. Stress and worry can keep us up at night. So try to do something soothing before bed, like having a warm bath, doing some stretching, reading a good book or having a hot, milky drink.

MORE FOR MEMBERS: You’ll find more tips for a better night’s sleep, plus strategies to help protect your weight loss on tired days, in the Snooze more, lose more feature on our exclusive member website

Find out more about joining Slimming World here.

*Holloway, L., Morris, L., Dowse, E., Bennett, S.E., Lavin, J. (2016) Snooze you lose? Views of the relationship between sleep and weight-related behaviours in people aiming to lose weight.

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