The older we grow, the more we appreciate sleep. But, unfortunately, getting the recommended 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night has become something akin to a fantasy. Those recommended hours are an important component of our overall health. If you’re a fitness enthusiast, you need quality sleep as much as you need proper nutrition and exercise.
Here’s why sleep is important for a healthy lifestyle:
1. Sleep Affects Your Performance
Active people need more sleep than those who lead a sedentary lifestyle. The amount of sleep you need depends on how active you are. If you do heavy weightlifting and intense workouts, you might need more than 8 hours per night. The better-rested you are, the better you will perform at the gym. If you don’t sleep well, you’re likely to end up feeling tired halfway through your exercise routine. Some might even skip the gym altogether because of how tired they feel, so be sure to fit 7-9 hours of sleep in your schedule, no matter how busy it is.
2. Recovery Time Is Crucial
It’s a well-known fact that exercise helps us sleep well. According to the folks over at https://snoozeez.com/, exercise helps lower the risks of sleep apnea and insomnia by reducing your stress levels. You can find expert tips online on how to create an exercise routine that can help you sleep better. While regular exercise helps you sleep better, getting enough sleep enables you to work out better. When we’re lifting weights, we tear muscle fibers to grow stronger muscles. When we go to sleep, those muscles start repairing and growing. So if you sleep well, you will come back to the gym the next day feeling rested and ready to start working out again.
3. Healthy Eating Isn’t Enough
Did you know that sleep deprivation can undo all your hard work at healthy-eating? It could all come back to different factors. It can be because when you sleep less and are awake more, you eat more. Or it can be because lack of sleep means less energy and fewer calories burned. Your hunger and appetite hormones may get thrown off causing you to get more hungry throughout the day. We advise you to eat foods like kiwis, oatmeal, salmon, and turkey and drink chamomile tea at dinner to sleep better. And avoid caffeine, alcohol, high sugar, and high-fat food.
4. Lack of Sleeping May Affect the Metabolism
Studies found that sleeping well promotes healthy metabolism. Sleep deprivation can cause your fat cells to not work probably. These are the cells that store and release energy in the human body. Lack of sleep for consecutive days can lead to insulin resistance. That happens whether you feel tired or not. Even if you drink coffee and feel awake, your hormones can tell you’re sleep-deprived.
Insulin is the hormone responsible for storing glucose and turning it into energy. If your body is insulin resistant, it won’t turn glucose into energy. Your body will produce more insulin then, and raise the blood sugar. High blood sugar contributes to weight gain and may eventually lead to type 2 diabetes.
5. Sleeping Well Motivates You to Be Healthy
We all know the difference between waking up after having slept well, and after having slept for a couple of hours. When the former happens, we feel well and are ready to start our day and make the best choices. But when we’re grumpy and sleepy, it’s easier to make bad choices. You might decide to take a break from the gym because you’re too tired. Or you find yourself craving hot wings and chocolate more often. Some studies show that lack of sleep can impact and weaken our self-control. Let’s face it, we need self-control to decide to eat well or exercise regularly.
How to Get Better Sleep
- Maintain a sleeping schedule. Choose a specific time to sleep and wake up, even on weekends.
- Try to minimize light before you go to sleep, don’t use your phone or computer.
- Do exercises during the day, it will help you sleep faster and get good quality sleep.
- Watch what you eat and drink.
- Turn the temperature down if possible, as cool rooms help you sleep better.
- Try meditating before going to bed.
You can’t possibly lead a healthy lifestyle without getting enough sleep every night. Quality, uninterrupted sleep will help you perform better at the gym, and enable you to gain muscles quicker and recover from post-workout fatigue faster. On the other hand, if you don’t sleep well, you will end up eating more while simultaneously slowing down your metabolism. A slow metabolism can lead to type 2 diabetes, so make sure you get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep every night.