The Importance of Sleep in Your Fitness Program

The Importance of Sleep in Your Fitness Program

One quality of being human and an animal on earth is the ability and the need to sleep.  Sleep is one of the most important aspects of being human because this is when the body heals and re-energizes.  During the colder months especially, the body requires more sleep to help fight off colds, flu, and other illness.  Simply said, sleep is needed for optimal health.  Another reason sleep is important is for the ability to perform at high levels during your workout.  Following a complete night of sleep where you did not wake one time could help raise your workout program to the next level the following day.  If you have a long night devoid of quality sleep, your workout is most likely to suffer as a result.  This article discusses the role of quality sleep in your performance and some reasons why you should receive plentiful sleep each night.

The Importance of Sleep

The Role of Sleep in Health

Sleep is a calming and enjoyable part of a busy life or at least it should be enjoyable.  For many, sleep occurs when it is necessary, which places one at greater risk of general illness.  Research has shown that an average of at least seven hours nightly of quality of sleep is associated with better health, general affect, life satisfaction, reduced tension, anger, symptoms of depression, and general fatigue [1].  Moreover, the average sleep quality in this recent study was associated with improved levels of sleepiness when compared to sleep quantity, suggesting deeper, more restful sleep to be more important for health.

The Role of Sleep in Exercise Performance

Sleep is an important element in energy balance in the body.  When the body receives plentiful sleep, it is able to better manage energy than from when chronically fatigued.  Moreover, quality sleep is the way for the body to focus solely on repairing torn muscles, restoring glycogen levels in the muscles, and generating a greater focus in the mind.  Studies have demonstrated the role of quality sleep on next day exercise performance.  In a study on women aged 60 years and older (one of the most sleep-deprived age group), researchers found a positive association in exercise performance when the participants received plentiful quality sleep, suggesting that when sleep is improved, exercise participation may benefit [2].

The Role of Sleep and Hormones

With all the talk about hormones and how they affect the body, we should now have a grasp on how sleep affects the physiology of the body.  Plentiful quality and restful sleep is one of the most powerful ways to regulate blood hormones in the body, especially leptin and ghrelin.  These two hormones are largely responsible for weight-loss goals and your exercise program will only benefit if you have a good control on these hormones.  Leptin is the hormone responsible for signaling satiety in the brain, in other words it tells your brain that you no longer want to eat.  This is a crucial aspect in weight loss because it will help aid in energy consumption.  Ghrelin on the other hand is a hormone responsible for signaling hunger in the brain.  In other words, your cravings for sweets and other foods is due to this hormone.  Having a balance on these hormones is sure to help assist in your weight loss program and sleep is one way to help regulate these hormones.  A poor night’s sleep could lead to an over-indulging experience to set back your weight-loss program.

While sleep is something natural for the human body, many individuals experience insomnia and a lack of sleep due to stress, illness, anxiety, or poor activity levels.  Coincidentally, proper levels of quality sleep can help regulate stress levels, illness, anxiety, and can even help increase exercise performance.  This potential cyclic disaster shows how important the role of sleep is to overall health and energy.  For those who struggle sleeping, try using calming music when you go to sleep to help soothe the mind.  In addition, stretching before bed can help relax tense muscles and late night massages are certainly expected to help you sleep.  In an effort to continue to reach your health and fitness goals, aim to make sleep an important aspect in your everyday healthy lifestyle.




About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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