Tag Archives: getting enough sleep

Get Some Sleep!

Sleep is an incredibly important part of physical fitness.  Putting out a max effort as often as possible in the gym is how you get results.  If you’re tired, sleep deprived and lacking energy, you’ll be missing key elements important in reaching the goals you want.  A suffering workout can be prevented by getting enough sleep every night, here’s why and some ways to fix it.

One major reason not getting enough rest is going to prevent you from seeing increases in strength and endurance is that most of your growth hormone (GH) is produced while you sleep.  Not only does GH help you grow, it aids in calcium rentention, helps decrease fat storage, supports your immune system and assists your organs.  While GH is clearly an important element in getting results from your workouts, sleep also plays in big role in keeping your stomach satisfied.  Two hunger managing hormones, ghrelin and leptin, are balanced when you’re catching Zs.  A study in the journal PLoS Medicine showed a strong relationship between limited sleep, high levels of hunger-inducing Ghrelin, low levels of satisfaction-inducing Leptin and obesity.  The bottom line?  Not getting enough sleep will make you fat.

If sleeping less leads to weight gain, it implies that sleeping more help with weight loss.  Weight gain and weight loss are both associated with metabolism, and a big part of that is how your body manages blood sugar levels.  Not getting enough sleep puts your body in a state similar to being diabetic because it results in trouble regulating blood sugar.  Your body’s response to and regulation of blood glucose levels after eating carbohydrate rich foods can be slowed by up to 40% when lacking sleep.  Your thyroid, which is mostly in charge of how many calories you burn just to get through the day, doesn’t react well to losing sleep, either.  The thyroid hormone becomes suppressed when you’re getting a full night’s rest and doesn’t burn as many calories, slowing down your metabolism.

Now that you know how getting a full night’s rest will benefit you, here are some tips to help you get one:

Check out where and how you sleep.  Ambient light and noise need to be reduced as much as possible.  Put that flashing modem in another room, silence your cell phone and get rid of the bedroom TV.  Hang heavy drapes and close blinds before bedtime.

Develop a pattern.  Your body likes routines, so going to bed and getting up at the same time everyday will help your internal alarm clock reset.  Dimming the lights and quieting down for a half hour before bed starts shutting you down from the day, and if you’re one whose mind races, reading something light will help those speeding thoughts fade away.

Now you know how important sleep is and how to make sure you get a good night’s full, so go get your jammies on and hit they hay.