You’re hitting the gym hard. Your diet is on point, but you’re still not seeing the progress you’ve been working for. What are you missing?!
Even with the very best diet and fitness routine, if your sleep schedule is off, you could be undoing all that hard work and progress.
Performance – When you live an active lifestyle, more than likely your body will need more rest than the average person. With being well rested, your body is able to perform to the best of its ability. When the body gets the proper 7-8 hours of sleep it has been able to recover its muscles in preparation for its next workout. More sleep, in theory, means you should be able to have more intense workouts with less fatigue. This also means you wake up well rested and you are less likely to skip or sleep through those training sessions.
Rest and Recovery – When you exercise, you are actually causing small tears to your muscles. To recover and improve your performance, you have to allow your body time to heal. During sleep, your body recuperates the quickest. Its healing muscles and recovering from all the strain we ask from it in training and everyday life. Without enough sleep, your body stays fatigued causing a drop in performance.
Diet – We may not think that sleep and diet have much of a correlation, but they do! There are many studies that link sleep deprivation to weight gain and obesity. They also show that getting less than seven hours of sleep a night may undo the effects of dieting. When you are running on low amounts of sleep, the body’s natural hormones can be thrown out of sync. This includes the hormone that increases hunger and appetite.
Composition of Fat Cells – Sleep is an extremely important component in energy metabolism. Research from the University of Chicago Medicine found that if you are sleep deprived, your fat cells may also not function properly. With lack of sleep over a period of time, it has been found that the body can become resistant to insulin, the main hormone in fat storage. Bodies that were sleep deprived began producing more insulin, which is harmful to the body because it begins to store fat in the wrong places. With lack of sleep producing insulin imbalances, this can lead to serious weight gain, obesity and possibly diabetes.
- Create a consistent schedule, and STICK TO IT!
- Create a bed time ritual or routine
- Make sure you aren’t hungry and/or too full before bed
- Try and create a cooler environment to improve quality of sleep
- Make sure your room is quiet and dark (try staying away from electronics an hour before sleep)
There are a variety of pick-me-ups to deal with lack of sleep, like coffee, energy drinks or tea. They are said to help energize us when we need a boost, but becoming reliant on them long term is not a good idea for a healthy body. Sleep, diet and exercise are so important for a healthy lifestyle. Sleeping is just as crucial as training, and lack of sleep can be the enemy of healthy muscles and a strong body.
Trifecta Fitness “Importance of Sleep in Fitness”
UChicagoNews John Easton “Even Your Fat Cells Need Sleep”
Fitday “Why Sleep is Key for Weight Loss”