According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 35 percent of people are sleep deprived, which means that 1 in 3 people aren’t getting enough sleep on a regular basis.
This is definitely one of my struggles. I have a feeling most of you can relate too.
Life gets hectic really quickly and the first thing that seems to suffer is the amount of sleep we get.
It’s important to resist this as sleep and exercise are both key components of a healthy lifestyle.
In fact, experts say that sleeping may be just as crucial as training… and the lack of it can be the enemy of muscle.
It’s important to remember that as we increase exercise (again, crucial to a healthy lifestyle), we must also increase rest (also crucial). To maintain a truly healthy lifestyle you must equally increase all aspects.
The key to successful family life is balance. Period.
If you work too much, you’ll miss out on all the parts of life that are actually important.
Play too much and you won’t be providing for your family.
So on and so forth, you get the point.
Let’s focus on rest. Specifically, sleep.
Here are some simple (not necessarily easy) tips to improve your sleep.
- Create a consistent schedule– and try to stick to it even on weekends, holidays, etc.
- Create a bed time ritual or routine to wind down
- Avoid eating at least 2-3 hours before sleeping
- Make sure the room is dark, quiet, and cool
- Avoid screens at 2 hours before bedtime
- If needed, use supplements. (I suggest melatonin, zinc, magnesium, and calcium)
There are many studies that show sleep deprivation is linked to weight gain and obesity, and getting less than 7 hours of sleep a night may undo the effects of dieting.
Researchers speculate that there are several ways that chronic sleep deprivation might lead to weight gain, either by increasing how much food people eat or decreasing the energy that they burn.
When you are running on little to no sleep, your hormones may be thrown off, including the hormone that increases hunger and appetite. Also, since you are awake for a longer period of time, you may become hungry more often. If you are up until 2am and you usually go to bed around 10pm, your body may feel hungry since your schedule is thrown off.
I know it’s difficult to prioritize sleep, but consider this: your strength and muscle size will increase and your fat will decrease exponentially when paired will a solid workout and diet plan.
Finally, working out while well-rested is an entirely different experience than going into it exhausted.
The harder you rest, the harder you can lift!