1/ Binge on sleep
Book-ending a long workday with a gym class and a Netflix marathon can result in you going without sleep for up to 20 hours. For your brain, it’s akin to being over the drink-driving limit, warns Dr Guy Leschziner of the UK’s Sleep Disorders Centre. Tuck yourself up just two hours earlier to hit the recommended minimum for sleep-induced sobriety.
2/ Beat fat in bed
Logging five hours or less raises your risk of obesity by 15 per cent, according to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Fluctuations in ghrelin and leptin, the hormones that regulate metabolism and appetite, are to blame says Leschziner. Freeze them out by keeping your bedroom below 18°C: it triggers “non-shivering thermogenesis” for overnight weight loss.
3/ Resist disease
People who get only five hours of sleep typically have an increase in cardiovascular disease and can become insulin resistant, according to sleep specialist Professor Adrian Williams. Work to blame? Walk away. No, don’t quit: a study found walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week, can prevent and reverse insulin resistance.
4/ Doze up on HGH
While there are proven ways to marginally increase your human growth hormone (heavy squats, for example) 60-70 per cent of your HGH – responsible for everything from metabolism to hair growth – is produced during sleep. Moreover, a Harvard study linked insufficient sleep to less-efficient production. No way around this one, gents.
5/ Face the facts
Your body also uses sleep to eliminate toxins from the skin, says Sleep School founder Dr Guy Meadows. People who skimp on sleep take 30 per cent longer for their skin to recover after a hard day, reports the University Hospitals Case Medical Centre in Cleveland. Cleanse, then apply a quality moisturiser – just don’t let the midnight oil spill over onto your face.