Sleep and the Impact on Your Workouts

Mar 14, 2018 HIIT

sleep and workoutsSleep is essential to our overall health and well-being. We spend up to one-third of our lives asleep, so it’s important to prioritize your own sleep health. It’s safe to say that most of us know that getting enough sleep is important, but how many of us really prioritize getting those crucial 8 hours?

Our lives are getting busier and busier. Many of us have forgotten what “feeling rested” really feels like. To compensate for our lack of sleep, we rely on stimulants like coffee and energy drinks and depend on alarm clocks and external lights like those from our cell phones. All these things effect our quality of sleep. Most adults require 7-9 hours of sleep each night. If you find yourself regularly cutting your sleep time short, you may limit your motivation, energy levels and your body’s ability to recover from tough workouts.

Sleep deprivation can:

  • Have psychological effects. When you miss out on a full night’s sleep, you can run the risk of feeling lazy and lack motivation. It can be hard to concentrate and remember things. If you’re feeling less motivated and having troubles concentrating, your workouts aren’t going to be as effective! You might even skip some workouts altogether!

  • Effect your metabolism. Losing sleep can keep you from losing weight. Leptin, a hormone that is responsible for making you feel full, decreases when you lose sleep. Sleep deprivation also increases your levels of ghrelin, which is known to increase your appetite and makes you want to eat more.

  • Decrease your energy levels. Without a proper night’s rest, you lack the energy you need to have a good workout. A lack of sleep not only leads to poorer athletic performance, but it can also cause your sleep-deprived brain to tell your body to give up when it otherwise would continue with an exercise.

  • Prevent bone and muscle repair. There’s a good chance you’re limiting your exercise progress if you don’t get enough sleep each night. During a night’s sleep, your body releases growth hormones which are responsible for strengthening your muscles and bones. A lack of sleep is particularly limiting if you strength train because you rely on these growth hormones for muscle growth and recovery. Without muscle growth and recovery, you’re much less likely to be able to lift more weight and see positive changes in your body.

If you know you have trouble prioritizing a good night’s sleep, how might you improve your sleeping habits and quality of sleep?

  • Stick to a steady sleep schedule, even on the weekends

  • Practice some sort of relaxing bedtime ritual like writing or concentrating on your breathing

  • Make sure you have comfortable bedding

  • Avoid taking caffeine too late in the day

  • Turn off your electronics before bed

If improving your health and well-being is important to you, you must make sleep a priority. Many times, we put off sleep until we have finished everything else we have on our to-do list. Make sure to add a good night’s sleep to your list of to-do’s. Sleep should be scheduled like any other daily activity if you want to make the most out of your day and stay motivated and energized!