People who run, cycle, and swim report better sleep quality than those who don't.
But guess what? So does sleepiness. A University of Pennsylvania study found that people who slept less than six hours a night over a week consumed nearly 700 more calories a day than those who logged seven or more.
When you're exhausted, the belly-rumbling hormone ghrehlin skyrockets, while the fullness-curbing hormone leptin falls.
People who run, cycle, and swim report better sleep quality than those who don't, according to a study by the national Sleep Foundation. But they see that effect only on exercising days.
That's why the movement you do outside the gym is just as crucial. Walking is something you can do every day for more consistent slumber.
Take a walk at work to grab some water, or stretch every 20 minutes, says Doug Kechijian, physical therapist at Resilient Performance PT in New York City.
This easy water bottle hack will help you stay properly hydrated every single day:
You might be tracking every step, workout, and calorie to drop the lbs. Sleep? Probably not, says winter.
Some of his clients spend nine hours a night in bed and complain that the first one or two are all tossing and turning.
He has those people wear a basic sleep tracker and report back in two weeks.
"The data often tells me the person needs only seven or eight hours a night," says Winter.
"That extra hour or two they spend in bed is just wasted time." For two weeks, track your Zs with a wearable device, then average how long you snooze on good nights.
Use that number to determine your ideal bed and wake hours. Now put your newfound time to work: Catch up on e-mails so the following day you have some free time for healthy meal prep or a lunch workout.
Or train yourself to sleep and wake two hours earlier, using the mornings for a brisk walk or a quick strength session.
A dropping body temperature helps you fall and stay asleep, but a toasty room prevents that process. So lower your thermostat one degree a week until it's as low as you can stand, says Winter.
"The other potential benefit of sleeping in the cold," he says, "is that your body has to work to keep you warm, so over the course of the night you may naturally burn more calories."
A study in Diabetes found that people who slept in a 66°F room increased their brown fat—a metabolically active form of fat—by 42 percent, which the researchers say may be enough to spur weight change.
This article originally appeared in the June 2017 issue of Women's Health. For more great advice, pick up a copy of the issue on newsstands now!