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Inspired by yoga, hypnotherapy and meditation, developing Dodow immersed us into a deep study of alternative methods for fixing health problems; sleeping was just a first step.

We would like to share with you our studies, and help you discover health and well-being advice, that are easy to put into practice.

Sleep better to get thinner

Sleep better to get thinner, would you believe it ? This technique sounds so insignificant, it's no surprise you would have a hard time believing it, but it's true - and it's even more of a reason to learn how to fall asleep. You won't notice any spectacular changes, but you will have an easier time staying thin and fending off extra pounds with a healthy, restful lifestyle.

At the heart of it all are hormones (aren't they always): when you sleep, you produce leptin, and when you wake up, ghrelin. Despite their ugly sounding names, these aren't a pair of trolls living inside your body but two types of hormones produced by your white adipose tissue (your fat, basically).

  • Leptin

Leptin metabolises fats and gives you a feeling of fullness: thanks to leptin, you don't wake up in the middle of the night for a midnight snack.

  • Ghrelin

Ghrelin makes you hungry, specifically for fatty and sweet foods.

When you sleep too little, your body's hormone production goes awry and you produce more ghrelin, which makes you hungrier than usual... and makes you eat more fatty foods.

Unequivocal studies

Joëlle Adrien (a neurobiologist and researcher at INSERM,the French national institude of health and medical research) has been at the forefront of many studies examining loss of weight in people who sleep a lot and very little.

In a first study, two groups of people were examined. The first group slept only 5 hours per night, the second 8 hours per night. After three weeks, the members of the first group had gained 2 kilos (2 and a half pounds), whereas members of the second group had stayed the same.

Furthermore, the researchers enforced a 2 week diet for the persons who were overweight, then separated them into 2 groups according to their sleep schedules.

All individuals lost the same amount of weight with one big difference. The ones who slept 8 hours lost about 1,5 kilos (3.3 pounds) of fat and 1,5 kilos of muscle, but the ones who had slept less than 6 hours only lost 500 grams (1,1 pound) of fat and 2,5 kilos (5,5 pounds) of muscle.

So watch out - sleeping badly makes you gain weight, but also lose muscle. You could end up really fat, and not so strong...

Taking advantage of your deep sleep to slim down

To take full advantage of your body's natural abilities to lose weight, you have to improve the quality of your deep sleep.

Deep sleep and slow wave sleep are the most relaxing phases of sleep. Your cardiac rhythm and your breathing become irregular, your body spends all its energy curing itself and rebuilding itself, and you are harder to wake up.

  • No stimulants before going to bed

Not only do beverages such as coffee, tea and other drinks contain caffeine which prevent you from falling asleep, but they also make your sleep more lightly. This is particularly inappropriate if you want to lose weight, because the deep sleep phase is the one that your body uses to burn more calories (about 500 per night, not bad considering you're not even conscious).

  • Don't sleep in !

Try to not sleep in until noon, even if it gives you a couple hours of extra sleep at home. By sleeping late, you disrupt your sleep rhythm and the frequency of your meals - when your body doesn't know when you're going to feed it again, it will pile on some extra weight to defend itself against any contingencies.

  • Exercise during the day

The more you exercise during the day, the more your body will work during your deep sleep phase to develop your muscles. After you've tired yourself out doing sports, you will slip into a restful sleep... and a slimming sleep.

Food and sleep

Don't make the mistake of believing that all you have to do is sleep it off, and you'll never have to worry about eating garbage again. Sleeping well won't do without eating right!

  • Eat at regular times

You've been told many times before, but breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that's the moment when you should stock up on energy with good, healthy food. Take a good lunch break as well, but in the evening it's better to eat a light meal 2 to 3 hours before bedtime with some herbal tea (chamomile or valerian) to drift you off to sleep.

  • No alcohol

By disrupting your neurotransmitters (serotonin and tryptophan to be precise, that regulate your sleep), alcohol disrupts your sleep and your deep sleep in particular.

Saying alcohol puts you to sleep should also be taken with a grain of salt - it does knock you out pretty fast, but if you take too great a dose it becomes a stimulant. For smaller, repeat doses, watch out for your liver and don't get too attached (dependency can become a real problem).

  • No sweets or fatty foods for diner

Sugars and lipids heat your body, but the ideal temperature to fall asleep is 18°C (64°F). A lower temperature helps deep sleep. Furthermore, if you eat heavy foods in the evening, your body naturally stocks up on fat and cements it during the night.

So are you ready to be thin and beautiful? Hit the bedroom!

On the same topic :

Are you sleep deprived ? Find out how it works and how it affects you!

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Discover the best positions to fall asleep!

Learn to meditate with these simple exercises in a few minutes!

Try hypnosis, and therapeutic and relaxing exercise

How about the sleep cycle in adults? Figure it out here!

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