The majority of people today are practicing a hectic lifestyle. Most of them complain that they don’t have time to finish all the daily tasks they have at home and at work. As a result, some have decided to cut their sleep. This might sound like a good idea at first, but the truth is that a decision like this will in all likelihood result in long-term negative consequences to our health and wellbeing.
If you are trying to achieve certain fitness objectives, you should know that getting enough sleep should be one of your most important goals. In case you are wondering why you should spend more time in your bed (between 6 and 8 hours a day), then you should keep reading because we are about to highlight the effects of lack of sleep on the body and mind.
A slower metabolism
To start with, lack of sleep affects the metabolic processes in the body. This unhealthy situation affects us in two ways. First of all, it lowers the amount of leptin, which is a natural suppressant. Next, it increases the level of ghrelin which supports food cravings. In other words, if you don’t sleep enough, you will lose control over your appetite. It is almost impossible to achieve any fitness goal if you can’t manage your weight.
Low energy levels
Proper sleep means normal energy levels. If you are trying to get in shape and sculpt your body you will definitely need energy. People who feel sleepy can’t find the energy to work out, prepare a healthy meal or simply take a walk. Instead of thinking about going to the gym, you will probably turn into a couch potato. We can’t blame you because it’s difficult to exercise when you don’t feel energetic.
It turns out that sleep deprivation can affect some other hormones too. For example, a situation like this can lead to increased level of cortisol, as well as to a lower level of Growth Factor 1 and testosterone. What does this mean? It means that your body won’t have time to recover from the muscular tension after exercises. In case you didn’t know, your body needs some time to repair muscle tissue and regenerate cells after a workout.
Low immune function
As previously mentioned, sleep is providing a necessary rest and recovery for almost every bodily system. The immune system is not an exception. In case you don’t sleep enough, your immune system will experience problems. When the work of this system is not optimized, you will find it difficult to fight infections and illnesses. Needless to say, when you are sick, you should forget about your daily fitness routine.
Is there something that we can do to improve sleep?
The short answer is yes. There are many things that each of us can do to improve quality of sleep.
First of all, you should design a sleep schedule and stick to it. According to many experts, sleeping between 6 and 8 hours a day is enough for an adult person. The main point is to try to go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time every day. Don’t change this sleep schedule even during weekends. In order to make falling asleep easier, you should also come up with a sleep routine. For example, you can practice yoga about 30 minutes before bedtime and brush your teeth before going to bed.
Many people today tend to use their smartphones or tablets before going to bed. Some of them are using them even in their beds. This is not a good idea because the light that these electronic devices emit can affect your sleep. Stay away from these devices and your TV if you want to fall asleep easily.
Furthermore, you should also buy a suitable mattress and pillow. Did you know that you should change your mattress every 6 years on average? Find a mattress and pillow that suits your body and improve the quality of sleep right away. In the end, don’t sleep in a bedroom that is either too hot or too cold.
We hope that this article will help you understand the importance of a good night’s sleep for fitness and health in general.
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