How Your Sleep Affects Your Fitness

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It’s hard getting into a consistent routine when it comes to fitness. It may seem like you have to do a complete overhaul of your life, but the truth is that simply changing a few key pieces of your life can get you well on your way to a healthy and fit lifestyle.

One of those things is getting your sleep on. If you are on a quest to having a healthier life, then keeping a consistent sleep routine is key.

The Health Benefits of Sleep

Sleep is essential for healing and repairing muscles, keeping your stress levels low and keeping you at a healthy weight. In fact, bad sleep stresses you out and gets you making poor choices and eating in an unhealthy manner.

A study led by the University of Chicago revealed that people who got around 8 and a half hours of sleep at night lost two times the amount of fat than people who only sleept 5 and a half hours, even if they consumed the same amount of calories during the day. Why? The belief is that not sleeping enough causes your body to produce cortisol, leading to inflammation and problems with insulin production.

Additionally, not sleeping enough causes a decrease in the production of leptin, a hormone that signals fullness to your body and an increase in ghrelin, a hormone that increases appetite.

So, in a nutshell, you need sleep! It’s important for hormone production, reparation of the muscles, and giving you the energy to work out and stay fit.

Bad Sleeping Habits that Keep Your Unhealthy

  • Hitting the Snooze Button

Hitting your snooze button actually leaves you feeling more tired than actually waking up right away. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep and keep the alarm far away enough that you have to get up in order to turn it off.

  • Not Having A Sleep Schedule

A disrupted sleeping pattern will not allow your circadian rhythm to become regulated, which leaves you feeling fatigued. Your internal clock needs to be steady in order to control hormone release and keep you energized and in a good mood. So, go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time in the mornings, including the weekends!

  • Not Sleeping Enough

Sleep is crucial for mental rest and muscle repair. If you don’t sleep at least 8 hours, you are not going to meet your fitness or life goals. Schedule your life accordingly.

  • Spending too much Time in bed

You shouldn’t go through your weeks on little sleep and then try to play “catch up” on the weekends. Sleeping in too late on the weekends makes you less productive, makes you skip workouts, and leaves you feeling lazy. Plus, it won’t undo the damage done by not getting regular sleep every night.

Develop the Right Sleep Habits for Your Fitness

If you want to hit and maintain your weight-loss and fitness goals, you need to develop sound sleep habits. Follow these rules in order to stay on the right track.

  • Aim for 8 to 9 hours of sleep every night. A study from Brigham Young University showed that women who got the right amount of sleep had the smallest risk of gaining fat.
  • Keep a consistent sleep schedule. That means waking up and going to bed at the same time every single day. Following a consistent sleep schedule is even more important than getting enough sleep when it comes to keeping your body fat low.
  • Keep things cool. Sleeping in a cold environment, as in 66 degrees, revs up your metabolisms, improves your sensitivity to insulin and increases your stores of quick-burning fat.
  • Keep it dark. Studies have shown that sleeping in dark rooms in crucial for sleeping well and keeping off body fat. In fact, women who sleep in dark rooms are 21% less likely to be obese than women who sleep in rooms with lights.
  • Disconnect From Technology. The blue light from your phone makes your melatonin levels plummet and it has been shown that reduced melatonin can lead to weight gain. It’s important to shut down all your screens and gadgets at least 30 minutes before you plan on getting some shut eye.
  • Keep your Active and healthy lifestyle. Eating well and getting enough exercise on a daily basis will keep you sleeping better. It’s all interconnected!

Remember, it’s important to get your rest in order to stay healthy. Rest will keep your body and mind healthy and whole and it will help you tackle the world. Getting enough sleep and following healthy sleep habits are the only way to keep your fitness levels on track. So, be sure to balance what you do and keep a consistent schedule in order to eat the right foods, get the right amount of exercise, and sleep your way to a healthier, stronger and more fit you.

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