Impact of Sleep on Fitness
When people think about taking care of their bodies, they think about working out, eating healthy foods, drinking water, or having extensive skincare routines. Did you know the foundation of taking care of yourself is getting good sleep? Lack of sleep throws off not just your entire day, but that workout regimen you started, too.
On average, adults should be sleeping around 7 to 9 hours every night. Yet, almost 1 in 5 Brits in the UK aren't getting enough sleep, affecting how they work, eat, feel, and the ability to get in shape.
Keep reading to find out more about how sleeping habits affect your workout!
Effects of Sleep Deprivation
Without sleep, you are unable to fully perform any task. Sleep deprivation affects your ability to think, your appearance, and even the way you drive, so it's no surprise to learn it also affects your ability to exercise. Without sleep, we simply have no energy for anything. Serious effects from sleep deprivation include the following :
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
Sleep deprivation can also affect your daily life in smaller ways, although still impactful. From under-eye bags to dozing off while driving, a lack of sleep can cause negative effects on ourselves and those around us. It is safe to say that getting the appropriate amount of sleep is crucial to your health and well-being.
No Sleep = No Energy
As previously mentioned, sleep is imperative to helping you continue your daily routine. In regards to exercising, sleep deprivation reduces your energy, which can dwindle the full benefits of a workout. Although you're still working your muscles, your body is more easily tired, increasing your fatigue and reducing the time you can spend exercising.
Additionally, if you fight through your fatigue and continue exercising, you are overworking your body and your exercise efficiency will decrease. Without rest, your body will not function to its full potential, causing poor effects in the long run.
Exercise Demands Sleep
For exercise to work, you must sleep. Even when exercising, your body itself will demonstrate how much it needs to rest. When the body is physically active, it increases adenosine in the brain. Adenosine is a chemical that causes us to feel sleepy. So, if you are not getting the proper amount of sleep, your body will make sure it gets as much as you allow it to.
Your body has a biological clock—the circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is a 24-hour cycle that your body follows (typically via environmental factors like sunlight and darkness) to determine when to wake up and fall asleep. When we stay awake or sleep, our rhythms are disrupted, affecting our bodies in negative ways.
Establishing an exercise routine helps your body realize when it is time for waking and sleeping. Studies have shown that a well-established exercise routine can shift your circadian rhythm. Additionally, morning people are more likely to be active in the morning, using exercise to wake up their bodies, while those who sleep in are more active at night, crashing after their workout. Studies find that the more sleep you get, the more likely you are to exercise routinely.
Okay—now you know sleep has critical effects on your ability to exercise. Next, you’ll want to maximize your workout by improving your sleeping habits. We’ve got some science-backed suggestions for you to help you get started.
- Avoid electronics for at least 30 minutes before bed: The blue light emitted by electronics such as phones and computers mimics sunlight, therefore tricking your body into thinking it's time to wake up. This throws off your circadian rhythm, further affecting your sleep quality.
- Establish a consistent sleeping schedule: By waking up and sleeping at the same time every day, your body will adjust and allow you to get the appropriate amount of sleep (and waking up at the same time on weekends will make it easier to wake up on Monday mornings).
- Keep a consistent nighttime routine: Now that you’re no longer using your phone before bed, other relaxing bedtime habits include reading a book, performing a skincare routine, stretching, taking a bath, journaling, etc.
- Invest in quality bedding: Oftentimes poor quality sleep comes from poor bedding. Cosy House offers a variety of bedding products, such as our Luxury Bed Sheets, that are light and breathable for endless comfort, therefore reducing your chances of waking up in the middle of the night. We also offer sleep essentials like the Luxury Bamboo Pillow, designed to cradle the head and neck just right, promoting spinal alignment and creating a better breathing path for all kinds of sleepers.
- Avoid certain foods before bed: Skipping spicy foods, caffeine, and processed foods before bed can help you fall asleep faster by avoiding effects such as acid reflux, bloating, and other disruptions. 
Ready to see positive changes in your exercise routine? A good night’s sleep can be the key to optimising your workout. Click here to learn how Cosy House can help you get better sleep.
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- Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017, March 2). CDC - how much sleep do I need? - sleep and sleep disorders. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/how_much_sleep.html
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