How sleep can speed up weight loss
This week, Louise Parker, creator of the Beach Body Plan for YOU Magazine, focuses on sleep. ‘You will lose more body fat doing my plan if you improve the quality and duration of your sleep,’ she says. ‘Sleep helps weight loss by improving hormone function, mood and energy levels, so you exercise more effectively. If we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies release an excess of the hunger hormone ghrelin, so we snack on starch- and sugar-rich foods for a quick energy fix. When we are tired we also produce less leptin, the hormone that tells us to stop eating. My clients who regularly sleep for eight hours lose up to 30 per cent more body fat than those who are sleep-deprived. Louise’s GUIDE TO A GREAT NIGHT’S ZZZZZZ
• Turn off all electronic devices by 8 p.m.
• If you are not going out, have a warm bath with a relaxing product an hour before you want to go to sleep. Louise loves valerian-and-hop-powered Kneipp Sweet Dreams Bath Salts/£8.95 at www.victoriahealth.com.
• Aim to be in bed by 10 p.m. and read a soothing book – nothing to do with work. If you missed the first week of the Beach Body Plan, you can find it online at you.co.uk. For more information, visit www.louiseparker.uk.com/ beachbodyplan.
GET 20% OFF THIS WORKS SLEEP ENHANCERS
Aromatherapy brand This Works has launched its Sleep Plus Pillow Spray, with vetiver, lavender and patchouli which has been clinically proven to provide a better night’s sleep. (Several people we know swear by it too.) This Works is offering YOU readers an exclusive 20 per cent discount on two products: Sleep Plus Pillow Spray, usually £25 for 75 ml, for the special price of £20; and Energy Bank Shower Gel, usually £16 for 250 ml, for £12.80. Order online at www.thisworks.com, with code YTW20. Offer expires 31 May.
Q. Since I started the menopause, I seem to attract more insect bites and stings. Is there an effective chemical-free repellent and does taking vitamin B help?
A. Pharmacist Shabir Daya says: ‘Hormonal changes may subtly alter skin odour and make it attractive to insects.’ He suggests Acqua D’Alfresco Anti-Bug Bite Spray, a botanical product, £25 for 50ml, www.victoriahealth.com. Garlic or garlic supplements (not odour-controlled) may help and Shabir says vitamin B1 is indeed believed to be beneficial, as it makes your body emit an odour that is unappetising to insects, but imperceptible to humans. Take a daily 500mg for no longer than two months. Vitamin B1 (thiamin) by Solgar Vitamins, £18.10 for 100 tablets, www.solgaronline.co.uk.
The Slumbersac toddler sleeping bag proved a great success with our tester Ivy, aged 17 months. Her mother Aisling says, ‘I put Ivy into her Slumbersac after her bath to settle her, so she knows bedtime is imminent. The opening for her feet (which you close for sleep) means she can walk around. It washes well and the adjustable length means it lasts longer as she grows. I like knowing she won’t get cold and start crying if she kicks off her covers during the night.’ Slumbersac in four sizes and two weights, from £14.99, www.slumbersac.co.uk.