Ever wonder why you hit so many plateaus while exercising? I’m sure we all have had days where we just don’t want to work out, or when we do exercise, we are only putting in minimum effort. The causes of poor performance during a fitness workout can be caused by quite a few things.
Here is a list of just a few literally off the top of my head: number of days you completed intense workouts in a row, what you ate, how much you ate, your eating patterns, what time of day you work out, the level of stress in your week, who you work out with, the music you listen to during the workout (if any), time pressures in your day, caffeine intake, alcohol intake, water intake, and sleep.
I’m sure manyof you can add to that list. My point is there are many things we can talk about to improve your overall fitness program. Sleep is one of those factors, and it can be an important one. To give you a taste of how much sleep is recommended, I turned to the Mayo Clinic.
The Mayo clinic recommends 7-9 hours a sleep for an adult. They note that as you age, you may become a lighter sleeper and get more interrupted sleep and that explains the daytime napping. Further, if you are sleep deprived, you will need more sleep, and if your quality of sleep is not good, you will need more of it. Quality is just as important as quantity.
So what? So what if you don’t get enough sleep? I may be paraphrasing here, but the experts at the Mayo Clinic indicate that you will die. Ok, maybe it was more of a linking between people sleeping less than 7 hours a night with a higher mortality rate. They did also note the sleep deprived folks are worse at complex mental tasks.
There has been research on the lack of sleep directly impacts exercise. Livestrong.com (awesome website awarded 2012 Webby Award for best health website) brings ups some great points.
For starters, there is the obvious feeling lazy and less motivated problem of sleep deprivation, so you might not even go to the gym. Also the lack of sleep affects your metabolism, your energy levels, and your bone and muscle repair. All of those are essential for an overall fitness program, such as our Functional Fitness program here.
You still don’t think getting a good night’s rest is important? Well…just sleep on it.
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sleep. I dream of sleep. Dream of it while I walk around in a perpetual tired state. Infant children do not condone oneself to sleep. As I type these words my eyes burn from the lack of sleep last nite. One day I’ll sleep again … one day
Just think how ready you will be for the zombie apocalypse!!
And don’t forget the ever growing body of evidence linking lack of sleep to weight gain, obesity, increased blood sugar, diabetes, etc. SLEEP IS HUGE. I don’t think anybody can deny that people were healthier before electricity (despite shorter life spans, but that gets into a whole other discussion about the wonders of modern medicine) because their sleep/wake cycles were more in tune with the setting and rising of the sun. The got more sleep, and had far fewer of the near pandemic health issues we see today. That said, I definitely need to get more sleep.
Good stuff, Pete.
Amen! Just try working third shift for a year. It is clear we were not made to be awake after dark
As a long-suffering insomniac, I am always saddened to hear or read about all the health implications of not sleeping. I wish I could… I just can’t.
Oh I am so sorry to hear that. Remember, though, that sleep is only one aspect of your overall health. You can combat that with exercise and nutrition. My wife has a hard time sleeping (nothing like a long-suffering insomniac) and that can be so taxing on her. Sorry to put a post out on such a sore subject for you.