If you’re like me (and the other 62 and a bit million in the UK), you’ll have over indulged a little this Christmas, with Britons expected to spend almost £180 on food and drink alone.

As good as it seems at the time, that a few extra eggnogs, a mince pie or three and the HUGE tin of chocolates that you somehow managed to devour yourself will only mean one thing, yeah, you’ve guessed it, a few extra inches on your waistline.

Sleeping can promote weight loss

This will lead to a January filled with gym memberships, endless detoxing and healthy diets but there could a much more stress-free (and relaxing) way to combat the Christmas bulge, my friend…

Just grab some extra rest.

A study, compiled by Dr Nathaniel Watson from the University of Washington, monitored the sleeping patterns of 1,000 pairs of twins, both identical and non-identical.

The team running the programme wanted to see if weight gain was due to environmental factors, or in fact was influenced by genetics.

It showed that having less than seven hours a night seemed to encourage the genes that influence weight gain, whereas enjoying nine hours sleep suppresses them.

After making the discovery, Watson said: ‘The results suggest that shorter sleep provides a more permissive environment for the expression of obesity related genes’.

This isn’t the first time that the negative effects of low levels of sleep has been prodded and probed.

Last year, professors from the University of Warwick suggested that a lack of sleep could cause high blood pressure in women, but not men.

But what if you struggle to sleep at night? and the idea of nine hours at the end of each day is a total no-no.

Well here are a couple of handy tips to combat your insomnia or sleeping blues.

  • Got any turkey leftover from Christmas day? Eat a sandwich laced with the festive bird, as it contains tryptophan, a natural sedative. But don’t worry if the last of your turkey was used up before the new year, chicken also contains the amino acid.
  • Maintain a pattern, like waking up at the same time each day-even at weekends
  • Try to plan out the next day before you go to bed, this will ensure you aren’t thinking and pondering too much in bed when you should be sleeping.

Ensure you get a great night’s sleep by investing in a mattress from The Odd Mattress Company.

Featured Image Credit: iStockphoto.com / megaflopp (Via Custard Online Marketing)