So no one could ever accuse you of having a lazy bone in your body. You’re the definition of the Energizer bunny, the superhero, the “do everything” type. Up at the crack of dawn, down to the gym, before hop skipping to work. Not to mention that huge to-do list you attack outside the office. Suddenly your skip in your step is a weary foot shuffle. You’ve been at the gym for months and worked hard to keep to a healthy diet, and still… no progress. Sound familiar? Here’s the one thing you’re superpowers are missing…SLEEP!
Just chill for a second. You can only do so much. You are only one person. One of my favorite sayings a yoga teacher once told me was: “you’re doing the best with what you’ve got”. So those niggly non-critical emails and texts might not get replied to today. So you may have to skip the drink with a friend to go to the gym. So the gym just might not happen today. Beating yourself up and stressing about it will only make matters worse for your body.
If you’re struggling to meet your fitness aims then sleep could be a major factor. Although nutrition and exercise are undoubtedly the key to weight loss and needed to ‘tone what you own’, sleep is the number one most important factor. Fitness and nutrition without sleep is like superman without his ability to fly. If that early morning gym session turns your 8 hours kip to more like a 5-6 hour one then you’re probably best to catch up on those zzz’s, you’ll start seeing more results in no time, here’s why….
Top 4 reasons sleep is THE most important thing for a better body:
- You need energy for your workouts to get your best performance. If you’re taking in less calories your energy is already lower. Combine that with not getting adequate sleep then you’re going to really struggle to bring your A game to your workout.
- When we sleep our body is rebuilding the torn muscle tissues that we create during exercise. Sleep is fundamental for your bodies recovery. Sleep ensures your body repairs itself properly so that you don’t run the risk of overtraining. It also means you don’t start your next workout off at a disadvantage.
- Sleep loss has been shown to increase stress in the body. Cortisol secretion is higher, which in turn breaks down the bodies tissues. This means it can cause muscle mass loss; so the very muscles you’re trying to build are being decreased.
- Sleep deprivation is responsible for a number of hormone and metabolism changes. This has an effect on appetite and hunger. Those who have struggled to sleep the night before may still feel hungry even when they’re full because of this.
By no means is this a ‘get out of gym free’ card, but its certainly something to ponder if you’re run ragged most of the time. Studies have shown that many overweight people are sleep deprived – coincidence? Not likely. Sleep is the single biggest way your body can reward you for all your fitness and nutrition efforts.
Make sure you’re getting as close to 7-9 hours sleep a night as possible, your inner superhero wants to fly!
Sending health & happiness,