How Supporting Your Sleep can Increase Fitness Results
Experts agree that we aren’t sleeping enough. According to the Center for Disease Control, 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. is sleeping less than the recommended 7 hours. Not getting enough rest each night can result in a number of health issues including premature aging, a lapse in memory, and being more prone to accidents. The side effects of sleep deprivation can also harm our best efforts when trying to lose weight, build muscle, or improve our physical health.
Let’s take a look at how staying on a healthy schedule can increase the results you see in the mirror, and at the gym.
BURN MORE FAT
Although it seems counterintuitive, getting less rest can make you gain weight, or stop you from burning optimal levels of fat.
A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that obese adults who slept for the recommended 8 hours per night burned more calories and overall fat than those who were placed on a restricted sleeping schedule.
Whether you want bigger muscles or a higher vertical leap; both might be out of your reach if you aren’t sleeping enough.
Snoozing has a tremendously positive impact on your neuromuscular system, as it promotes the release of recovery growth hormones. When you aren’t sleeping enough, you are losing out of these positive growth hormones and promoting the release of catabolic hormones, especially cortisol. Too much cortisol and a lack of protein synthesis will result in the breakdown of tissue, while promoting fat gains.
When you exercise hard and skip on slumber, you are putting your muscle tissue, cardiovascular system, and immune system at risk for a common condition called overtraining. The symptoms of overtraining include extreme fatigue, hormonal imbalances such as discussed above with cortisol, mood swings, and a higher susceptibility to illness.
You can start now with getting yourself on a healthy slumber schedule, but bouncing back from overtraining can take weeks or months. The effect that this can have on your fitness results is detrimental, and may require months of training to gain back muscle and performance or to lose fat mass.
HOW TO GET MORE SLEEP
Chasing zzz's doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Try implementing these simple tricks into your daily routine to promote a better schedule.
Power Down: Known as the sleep hormone, melatonin production is triggered at night to help you fall asleep. If you’re constantly staring at your laptop or cell phone, melatonin production is inhibited. This makes it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Power down your electronics an hour before bed. To keep yourself occupied, read a hard copy book, or try your hand at journaling.
Avoid Heavy Meals: Eating too much can make you feel uncomfortable and prevent you from falling asleep. Try eating your last meal of the day no more than 2 hours before bed. For example, if you go to bed at 10 p.m., don’t eat anything after 8 p.m.
Supplement: Nootropic supplements are a natural and effective way to promote a night of healthy rest. Extracts such as melatonin, GABA, and 5-HTP are all proven ingredients to help you drift off, and hit those much-needed REM cycles. We recommend using : a blend of the most scientifically trusted ingredients to get a good night’s rest.
DO YOU HAVE TROUBLE SLEEPING?
What are your biggest obstacles between you and a good night’s rest? Have you tried any of the techniques above to doze better? What were your results? Let us know in the comments below.
Written by David Sautter
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.