Why Lack of Sleep May be Stopping You from Reaching Your Fitness GoalsSeptember 4, 2015
Just Say YES to Sleep
Everyone needs sleep. Some can function on less sleep, sure, but in order to be mentally and physically well, we all need a good night of rest. Unfortunately, it is sometimes hard to listen to your body’s cues. Human beings are busy and sometimes our plates can get too full. I am here today, however, to tell you that it is okay to turn off your brain and get the sleep you need because without it, you will not perform to the best of your ability not only at the gym, but in all aspects of life.
Energy consumption is lowered when we are sleeping. Growth hormone is released naturally and this improves muscular recovery and regeneration. While it may appear that your muscles are growing during your workout, think again. Muscles grow when they are at rest! Muscle fibers need to repair themselves after being torn during your lifting session. No rest equals slow muscle growth.
I have had my fair share of good sleep and awful sleep. Here are some tips that may help you get that great night of rest you have been longing for:
- Reading. I don’t know about you, but when I open a book I instantly get tired. Perhaps I just haven’t found “the” right book to suck me in.
- Leave your phone in another room. This is a tough one, I know. I find myself always grabbing my phone and checking e-mail/social media which then leads to a later bed time. The bright light hurts my eyes, too. Why do I keep staring at it??
- Find the right temperature. I am usually too warm in the middle of the night. This causes the covers to fly on and off and I just cannot get comfortable. A fan has worked wonders.
- Yoga/Meditation. This is not an exercise that I particularly follow (although I probably should!) Finding your “place of relaxation” can help turn your brain off and send you into snooze land quicker.
- Avoid any caffeine in the afternoon/evening. This is a no brainer but I felt like it was necessary to add. Sometimes we are unaware of what is in our store bought beverages. Water, water and more water!
Once you get back into a sleeping rhythm, I have no doubt that you will feel (and look!) better. Don’t feel bad that you didn’t meet up with friends one night. It is important that you feel your best and gain the benefits from all of the hard work at the gym! Goodnight!