1/ BINGE ON SLEEP
Book-ending a long day with a workout, dinner and a post-midnight Netflix marathon can result in you going without sleep for up to 20 hours. For your brain, it’s like being over the drink-driving limit, warns sleep disorders specialist Dr Guy Leschziner. Head to bed 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 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 a night typically have an increased risk of 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 for 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 uses sleep to eliminate toxins from the skin, says sleep expert Dr Guy Meadows. The skin of people who skimp on sleep takes 30 per cent longer to recover after a hard day, reports the University Hospitals Case Medical Centre in Cleveland. Before bed, cleanse, then apply a good-quality moisturiser.