A lot of people often underestimate the importance of sleep as part of fitness and health regimen and only focus on nutrition plans and training
It is true that the latter is absolutely important, however equally important to achieve fitness is having enough rest and sleep. With the modern hustle and bustle packed with ceaseless tasks and activities to do, time never seems to be enough.
Thus, it is easy to sacrifice on sleep which unfortunately might the reason you cannot attain your fitness goals. Today, we will focus on the importance of sleep for fitness, to help you avoid the pitfalls of being a busybody without seeing any results.
How to Attain Good Sleep
If you cannot attain your fitness goals no matter how hard work and discipline you invest in terms exercise and diet, you might be suffering from lack of rest. A good rest which includes a good night sleep each day can go a long way in turning around these results.
Take a Good Diet
It is important for us to make food adjustments that ensure that we have quality sleep. Avoid foods that interrupt the quality of sleep such as alcohol, caffeine, large portions of proteins, sugar, and spices before going to bed. If you have to drink something before going to bed, try green tea; it is not only healthy but also has natural chemicals that help you relax to promote quality sleep.
For those having problems with sleep, try going to bed and waking up at a specific time each day. Also, keep hydrated throughout the day by drinking enough water and healthy beverages. A good way to carry these beverages is by using a fruit infuser water bottle allowing you to benefit from the natural greatness of water, vegetables, and fruit in one go.
The Importance of Sleep for Fitness
It Reduces Overeating and Weight Gain
Recent research indicates that having few hours of sleep leads to increased food cravings and less likely to exercise. Adequate sleep balances the hunger hormones in our bodies. Leptin hormone tells the body that it has had enough food while the Ghrelin hormone tells the body that it is hungry. When tired and sleep deprived, less of Leptin is produced resulting in the need to eat more and frequently and consequently weight gain.
By having enough sleep, such cravings reduce significantly. If you cannot help it, you can as well satisfy your craving with a healthy snack such as a few slices of whole-wheat bread spread with raw honey or some peanut butter.
It Helps in Workout Recovery
Rest and recovery after exercise are extremely important to help your body grow/repair. Numerous studies have established the negative effects of over-training and more importantly under-recovering. Rest is the magical recovery pill, and we rest best when asleep. Inadequate sleep slows down the production of the growth hormone which makes is hard for the body to recover.
The growth hormone is a natural anti-aging element that also facilitates recovery and burning of fat. With proper sleep, your body adequately recovers enabling you to feel more energized and stronger which enables you to achieve weight loss and/or muscle gains faster.
Helps You Achieve the Most From Your Workouts
The discipline of consistently hitting the gym is quite an effort. This gets harder when you are tired or cannot see any significant results after months of training. When tired, you are less likely to put your best effort when training or may get an injury by training wrong. A poor sleep pattern will likely jeopardize your hard work.
Helps You Keep Focused
Sleep deprivation alters the functioning of the brain; it has a similar effect to being drunk. You lack a clear mind to make sound complex decisions; you end up making emotional decisions based on how you feel or cravings you have. This is why when sleep deprived, you are likely to make poor diet choices or eat foods you don’t normally eat.
The contrast is true when you have a sufficient sleep; it promotes emotional and mental health. These are critical factors for an individual on a mission to improve their physical activity and food habits; this will consequently trickle down to all other aspects of their life.
From the above write-up, it is clear that inadequate sleep has significant negative effect on fitness. In fact, quality sleep is a critical element for anyone to attain fitness besides running on the track, hitting the gym and taking proper diet. It is also important to note that the emphasis is on quality of sleep and not just how many time you spend in bed.
Inadequate quality sleep wretches havoc on the body hormones which drain down energy and motivation levels, reducing the ability to recover from exercise and also increases the risk of aging faster and weight gain.