So, I realized we haven’t talked much about sleeping yet on this blog (even though this will probably be the only post about it… there’s only so many things you can say about sleeping right? Should the name of this blog been just Eat, Gym? Since we don’t really talk about “sleep” or “repeat”? Or does Eat Gym sound too caveman like? But we love cavemen! Am I rambling? Is anyone there? Bueller? Bueller?)
ANYWAYS. I found a great little article that sums up why you sleeping is so important to your exercise routine. As someone who gets up at 5:30 to work out, I’m usually in bed by 10. Most of my friends think I’m crazy, but I get a full (almost) 8 hours every night and sleep like a ROCK. (More on why I heart working out first thing in the morning later) Anyhoo, I hope you find this article helpful and hope that it will inspire you to really make an effort to catch some extra zz’s! (sidenote: I’m obsessed with Koala bears. If I ever go to Australia I’m kidnapping one)
1. Hit the hay before a workout. When strength training, you want to have had at least six to eight hours of sleep the night before to make sure that your muscles are well-rested and performing at their best. Same is true when engaging in intense cardio training.
2. Don’t deprive yourself of sleep. Sleep deprivation can slow glucose metabolism, the energy source for the brain, by as much as 30 to 40 percent. Because of this, a lack of sleep can not only affect your exercise performance and level of motivation, but it can also lead to potential accidents and injuries due to slower reaction time and reduced concentration. Not fun!
3. Work out hard. Sleep hard. Intense workouts and lack of sleep do not make good partners because while you’re sleeping, your body works to repair muscle stress that occurred during exercise. The harder you train, the more sleep and rest you need to recover; otherwise, you will might suffer from injury and overtraining.
4. Having problems falling asleep? Try an intense workout like a group cycling class, circuit training or a 30-minute interval training program on the treadmill or elliptical earlier in the day. The high intensity of the workout will cause your muscles to fatigue, sending dopamine, the hormone that helps you sleep, throughout your body.
5. Obesity and sleep are linked. Research has shown that people who sleep less than seven to nine hours a night are up to 75 percent more likely to be obese. This makes sense because studies have found that sleep deprivation increases levels of the hunger hormone (ghrelin) and decreases levels of the hormone that makes you feel full (leptin), ultimately slowing down your metabolism. For those who live in a constant tired state, the effect of lack of sleep often leads to overeating, lack of motivation to work out and weight gain.