Did you know that getting some good ZZZ's can actually help you lose weight? It's true! New research shows that those who get 8.5 hours of sleep lose twice as much fat than those who only get 5.5 hours a night. Here are six surprising ways to help you get a better night's sleep--and boost your body's ability to lose weight while you're at it.  

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Make sure to drink your glass of milk. 1

Make sure to drink your glass of milk.

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You already know that a warm glass of milk can get you to sleep, but did you know that having some protein (also in the form of a smoothie or Greek yogurt) could also help you build muscle while you sleep? Since building muscle is the #1 way to burn more calories...bring on the leche!

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Change your thermostat to make your place cold. 2

Change your thermostat to make your place cold.

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Research shows that people who sleep in rooms that are 66.2 degrees actually begin to store white fat into calorie-burning brown fat. Why? Because brown fat helps to heat the body.

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Turn off all devices and take some "me time" before bed. 3

Turn off all devices and take some

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The key to getting a really good night's rest lies in one's ability to take 30 minutes before bedtime to relax. 

Lower the lights to set the sleeping mood just right. 4

Lower the lights to set the sleeping mood just right.

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Bright lights in your room can really mess with your melatonin, the hormone that helps to set your sleep quality and lull you to bed. The key is to sleep in the darkest room possible. You'll wake up super rested the next day.

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Get ready to try some bedtime yoga. 5

Get ready to try some bedtime yoga.

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Intense exercise is not the way to go before bed, since it can keep your body up longer than you want it to be. The good news is that some stretching and meditation can be really good for you. Make sure to incorporate some deep breathing to set your nervous system to "rest and digest."

Forget that nightcap and don't drink before bed. 6

Forget that nightcap and don't drink before bed.

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You might think that having a glass of wine before bed is all in good fun, but the truth is that alcohol can actually interrupt your sleep later on in the night. Your body metabolizing the sugar in alcohol, which doesn't allow your system to rest.