The Importance of Sleep for Health & Fitness
The most common mistake when people are trying to improve their health and fitness is that are workout/nutrition centric, however they miss the often most crucial element – rest and recovery.
Where we often amass as many hours as possible of activities into a day that we can, unfortunately, sleep is one of the first things sacrificed, however this sacrifice alone could be the one thing stopping you from reaching your goals?
Lack of deep quality sleep plays chaos on our hormones which can not only cut our motivation and energy levels it can also increase our ability to gain weight and age faster.
To improve your health and fitness, sleeping is just as important as gym workouts or the running track.
Reasons why a good night’s sleep is vital when trying to better your health.
It prevents weight gain
Without satisfactory sleep our capability to properly use insulin (the main storage hormone) is disrupted. When we become more insulin resistant, fats circulate in our blood and pump out more insulin. Excess insulin is eventually stored as fat. A quality sleeping pattern will help keep insulin levels regular and prevent fat storage.
Stress levels rise when you are tired and without realising it, stress has an ability to cause you to store fat. When you experience stress, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol makes you more likely to store calories as fat no matter how well you are eating.
It keeps your brain focused
Your brain functions otherwise without sleep. Sleep deprivation is a like being drunk. When you are deprived of sleep you lack the mental clearness to make sound decisions, especially regarding food intake. This usually results in you making poor meal choices and consuming snacks you wouldn’t normally.
Enough sleep also helps mental and emotional health. These are very significant factors when trying to improve food and exercise habits. A positive outlook and frame of mind leads to better choices, including exercise and healthy eating.
It helps you recover
There has been research completed on the effects of over-training and how frequently we should exercise each week before it’s considered too much. The focus should also be on under-recovering not just over-training.
Lack of sleep makes it more difficult for your body to recover from exercise by slowing down the production of growth hormone; your natural source of anti-aging and fat burning that also enables recovery.
To improve your health and fitness, the four words; sleep better, live better, have never been truer. The importance of sleep should never be forgotten.