1. REST AND RECOVERY
Recovery time is highly crucial to a fitness routine because you repair/grow stronger muscle while you rest. True story – all the magic happens while you sleep! This is why you should pay attention to how much sleep you are getting every night. Getting into the habit of having the 7-8 hour recommendation of sleep may help you feel more energised, work out harder and build lean muscle quicker. When your muscles recover adequately, you are more likely to return to training stronger than before, not to mention the strength and potential size gains that can happen too. This is why sleep is so crucial, and it also improves your mental health and hormonal balance!
If you aren’t very active, you may not need as much sleep as a fitness fiend. Basically, the more active you are the more desperate your body is for rest. When you are well- rested, it means you are able to perform at your BEST capacity and who wouldn’t want to train like a beast? Training like a beast means MORE intense QUALITY gym sessions/ workouts and LESS long boring sessions with fatigue. If you are completing intense workouts, you may even need more than 8 hours sleep in order to effectively recover your muscles so you are prepared to smash out your next workout.
What the heck does diet have to do with how much sleep we are getting? Yep, even if you are eating healthy there are still many studies that show sleep deprivation is linked to weight gain and obesity – getting less than 7 hours of sleep a night may undo all of that clean eating!! Now there are several ways that chronic sleep deprivation may lead to weight gain:
- Increasing how much food you are eating (the longer you’re awake the more you’ll need to eat right?)
- Hormones may be thrown off (including the hormone that increases hunger and appetite)
- Being awake for longer periods of time = becoming more hungry more often
When you don’t get enough sleep, especially consecutively over a few days, your body may become resistant to insulin (the master storage hormone). Excess insulin is harmful, because it ends up storing fat in all the wrong places. In conclusion, the insulin imbalance caused by lack of sleep has the potential to cause serious weight gain, which can lead to obesity and possibly diabetes.
It’s a bigger issue than we think so, try not to throw your schedule off and stay clear of foods that can be detrimental to your sleep intake like caffeine, alcohol, large amounts of protein, spices, sugar and diuretics before bed time!