The Sleeping Beauty Diet: Can Catching Zzzs Really Help You Lose Weight?

The Sleeping Beauty diet claims to help you lose weight while you sleep. Err, really?

Okay, it’s January.

Between pond sludge (kale) smoothies and 5:2 ratios,  we’ve officially heard all of THE most effective weight loss plans this side of Christmas – well, we thought we had. Until now.

Listen up gym haters, apparently there’s a diet that can help you shed the post-Crimbo pounds whilst (wait for it) snoozing. Yes, that’s correct. Lose weight, while you sleep? Sounds WAY too good to be true, right?

Read: Should You Be Trying The Whole30 Diet?

Ladies and gents, meet the Sleeping Beauty diet – a programme that promotes weight loss through sleep. Famous fans have included the late Elvis Presley, and in theory we’re 100% on board – come on, even we can’t polish off a family sized bag of Doritos whilst napping on the couch. (We have tried.)

The diet requires you to sleep between seven to nine hours each night — that means no more 10pm Netflix binges people — and to avoid stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol that can typically upset your sleep pattern. After a period of time, the extra sleep should help regulate your metabolism, and encourage weight loss.

No-brainer thus far. However, the Sleeping Beauty method has proved controversial with many health professionals, and for good reason.

There have been cases where advocates of the Sleeping Beauty diet recommend using sedatives to help them sleep longer – in more extreme cases up to 20 hours per day, for consecutive days. Hmm, doesn’t really sound too safe now does it? Going to bed on an empty stomach isn’t great at the best of times, but not eating for hours on end because you are clocking serious shifts in the Land of Nod, cannot be healthy.

Plus, haven’t these Sleeping Beauty dieters got jobs? It begs the question that if you have 20 hours to sleep out of a full 24, something might not be quite right to begin with.

Read: Diet Watching Is The Reaction Trend To The Dangers Of Binge-Watching

Either way, the methods behind this diet can make sense (avoiding coffee/exercise before bed, making sure you are getting a full eight hours), but we don’t recommend it. Using chemicals to control your sleep can lead to all kinds of long-term health effects, and while we love the idea of hit snooze = lose weight, risking our lives by effectively not waking up just isn’t worth it.

All props to Aurora, but this is the one Disney movie we’re happy to leave IRL.