We all know how important it is to exercise and eat properly, but there is one area of our lives that we tend to ignore. You might’ve guessed it, sleep!
Getting a good night’s rest can mean the difference between a poor tomorrow and an excellent tomorrow. It affects performance both physically and mentally as well as hormonally. Without adequate sleep, your body doesn’t have enough time to repair muscle tissue. In fact, your body doesn’t grow in the gym, it grows while you sleep. All the gym does is stimulate the muscles for the needed growth.
Lack of sleep can also affect your memory, your mood, and also your waist size. Let’s jump into some of the other things lack of sleep can do if you’re not careful. Then we will talk about some tips on how to have a good night sleep.
Sleep Controls Your Eating Habits:
There have been some studies that show that lack of sleep can ruin your body’s dieting regimen. This is mainly due to hormonal changes when you are sleep deprived. Explained in more detail below, not getting enough sleep can cause yourself to get hungrier as well as store more fat. One of the best things you can do for your diet is make sure you’re getting enough sleep every night.
Sleepless Nights Decreases Recovery of Muscles:
Sleep is crucial to allow your body time to recover and grow stronger. If you don’t give yourself enough rest, your body will be unable to heal as efficiently as it could up with adequate sleep. This will hurt your muscle gains and potentially increase your stored fat. You will also notice increased fatigue during your workouts and your performance level will drop considerably.
When you work out, your body is actually inflicting tiny injuries to your muscles. This applies to runners as well as weightlifters. After a workout, you have beaten up your body pretty badly! Your body will need time to repair these micro-injuries to make yourself stronger. Give your body what it needs!
Leptin and Ghrelin:
Hunger is controlled by two hormones, leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is a hormone that is produced in your fat cells. When you are low on this particular hormone, your stomach will feel emptier. Lower levels of leptin in our body will make us feel hungry. Ghrelin on the other hand stimulates hunger and increases the amount of fat that you store. The way to lose weight is to control these two hormones. If you are sleep deprived, these two hormones will be completely out of whack.
Lack of Sleep Increases Cortisol Levels:
To make matters worse, a hormone called cortisol will also rise in the body. This hormone is responsible for weight gain. Cortisol will also activate reward centers in your brain to make you crave food. So being sleep deprived really is a three hormonal punch to your system. Getting adequate sleep every night can prevent cortisone levels from rising as well as keep leptin and ghrelin under control.
Tips to Have a Good Night Sleep
Do you want to have a good night’s sleep but don’t how to go about it? Here are some tips to help calm you down to get a restful night’s sleep.
Avoid Working out before Bed:
It’s always best for you not to work out within two hours prior to your planned bedtime. Relaxing by reading a book, or other light activity, works best for sleep as it naturally prepares the body to calm down for sleep. Working out will pump up your body and can make falling asleep more difficult.
Work Hard, Play Hard:
During the day, you should be working hard as well as playing hard. Make sure you’re moving as much is possible during the day. Living a hereditary lifestyle makes it much harder to fall asleep at night time. Tire yourself out throughout the day and you’ll have no trouble falling asleep.
Never Oversleep (Unless in Sleep Debt):
The average adult needs between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. If you oversleep, (10+ hours) then you’re very likely to have it more difficult time falling asleep the following night. Because your body changes its sleep patterns. Try to fall asleep the same time every single night and get into a routine. This will train your body to know when it’s time for sleep. If you were sleep deprived, then it’s natural for the body to want to catch up the hours you missed. This is OK on a temporary basis, but you will need to get your body back in check after you catch up your sleep.
Keep your Bedroom Calm and Simple:
Your bedroom should be your little oasis! Try not to flood your room with electronics such as computers, TVs, and portable devices such as phones and tablets. You should only be having sex and sleep in your bedroom. Keep the area clean of any clutter, as well as nice and cool. Statistically, people sleep better with a slightly cooler temperature. You could also play calming meditation music to help relax the body before sleep. If you want to read before bed, make sure you’re reading a magazine or physical book. The back light from devices such as iPads can actually stimulate the brain and make it harder to fall asleep.
Invest in a Good Mattress:
You spend one third of your life sleeping, so you better invest in a good mattress. The better the mattress, the better your sleep. Many people don’t invest enough money into their mattress. This usually isn’t because they can’t afford it, but because they think all mattresses are the same. I can speak from experience that this is not true at all. Spend the money, get a mattress that suits you, and start having good night sleeps.