Every adult’s favorite pastime and every child’s worst nightmare, BEDTIME! Today, we are going to discuss why getting good sleep will benefit your health and fitness journey and I’ll give you a few tips on what has helped my sleep game.
Compared to studies and what the experts say, it’s recommended that as adults we get seven to eight hours of sleep every night, not just for our beauty rest and to fight off baggy eyes, but to increase our health as well. Let’s go over some of those benefits,
- Increased immune system– When your body gets the sleep it needs, your immune cells and proteins get the rest they need to fight off whatever comes their way — like colds or the flu.
- Helps Prevent Weight Gain– If you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces ghrelin, a hormone that boosts appetite. Your body also decreases the production of leptin, a hormone that tells you you’re full. Put ’em both together and that’s one dangerous combo for late-night snacking, my friend. Plus, when you don’t sleep enough you get more stressed and don’t have the energy to fight off junk food cravings. We’re exhausted just thinking about it.
- Improved Mood- Being rested helps your energy levels. When your energy level is high, life’s little stressers won’t annoy you as much. Yes, you will still get irritated at little things and even big things but when you are well rested, your mind and spirit have more resilience due to your upbeat attitude.
- Increase Strength & Performance- Due to sleep being the recovery phase for the whole body, this is where most of the “GAINZ” are made. When you get good sleep you give your body the ample time and sources it needs to recover and adapt to the stressors of your workouts. Studies have shown a lack of sleep to be directly related to performance in athletes such as response times, power output, as well as hormone imbalances which can all lead to a loss of strength in the gym.
This is just a small list of what getting good quality sleep can do for you, of course there are more benefits and a lot more science to be explained, but for now let’s move on to how we can improve our sleep.
Just like you see everyone post about their workout routines, or morning routines, for some reason we forget about a Sleep Routine. Having a regular sleep routine and schedule can really help us achieve the best sleep we can get, and here’s how started to tackle mine.
- Get plenty of natural sunlight, this helps your circadian rhythm throughout the day so when it comes to bedtime your body will feel ready.
- Same for exercise and movement, getting proper amounts of movement will help our bodies burn off some of that extra energy, letting us feel tired and relaxed before bed.
- Getting rid of bluelight, dimming your lights down in the house and turning off your screens will diminish the amount of blue light. Blue light is a form of UV light that kicks off melatonin receptors and can make it difficult for use to fall asleep. You can even wear bluelight blocking glasses 1-2 hours before bed. www.felixgray.com has a great selection of high quality eyewear.
- Lastly, and one of my favorites is bedtime tea or a low dose(5g or less) of melatonin. Most bedtime teas have things like chamomile and valerian root which helps promote restful sleep and even melatonin production. Melatonin is the hormone that signals our bodies that it’s time to rest, sleep and recover.
Try adding in these practices and see which ones work best for you, may only one maybe all of them do. I find when I stick to my individual sleep routine, I am more productive in and outside the gym, have high energy throughout the whole day, think more clearly, and see results from my training faster and more regularly.