Believe it or not, sleep could be the most crucial component of your fitness journey and overall well-being. Nevertheless, the average American only sleeps 6.8 hours per night. That's lower than the recommended 7 to 9 hours you need for optimal daily performance, weight loss and recovery from daily exercise.
Many people sacrifice their sleep in response to a hectic lifestyle including such responsibilities as kids, career, gym time, deadlines and all of the obstacles we each face every day. Unfortunately, that's the worst decision you can make.
Lack Of Sleep Demolishes All Fitness Goals
Have you been eating right, exercising, moving and hustling all day long and still can’t lose weight? The problem may be your sleeping habits.
A study by the University of Chicago Medical Center revealed that, “When dieters got a full night's sleep, more than half of the weight they lost was fat. When they cut back on their sleep, only one-fourth of their weight loss came from fat. Sleep-deprived dieters also felt hungrier, producing higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger and reduces energy expenditure.”
Maybe your goal is to improve your muscle tone or increase muscle mass. You may be lifting hard and heavy, eating appropriately and seeing no results. If you aren’t getting enough rest, your body isn’t fully recovering.
Your body must repair all the damage it's encountered throughout the day – especially from heavy lifting – while you are sawing logs. Studies estimate that your body releases nearly 75% of the human growth hormone needed for tissue repair while you sleep.
Here are a few more health consequences you may suffer as a result of sleep deprivation, even if it’s only an hour less per night than you normally get:
Fun Fact About Sleep
If you slept for the recommended average of 8 hours per day and lived to be 79 (the average American lifespan), you'd spend 230,680 hours in bed. That’s 26.3 years of sleep. Might as well make your sleep time quality time!
Get Equipped For Sleep
Now that you are aware of the importance of sleep and how many years of your life you'll spend in bed, you need to know how to get quality sleep. Just like you need the right running shoes to pound out the miles on the street or the correct equipment in the weight room to grow muscle, you also need the best sleep equipment for your body to recover.
Nothing is worse than sleeping on an uncomfortable bed. Make sleep more inviting with the right mattress. If you are constantly rolling to the center of your bed and bumping into your significant other, you aren't going to get 8 hours of quality sleep. You're going to want to invest a little on the mattresses that you’ll be spending 230,680 hours of your life on.
It also never hurts to have comfy, high thread count sheets like our Premiere Classics Sheet Collection, and pillows that don’t leave your neck stiff in the morning. Remember: If your bed is a warm, comfortable and inviting place, you’ll want to be there!
Next, set routines like turning off all electronics an hour before it’s time to hit the hay and doing something you enjoy, like reading, will help you relax and prepare to sleep. It’s hard to shut your eyes and just sleep when you are still running ragged and stressed about things you can’t control at that time. Let it go until you’ve had a good night’s sleep!
Sleep and fitness have a symbiotic relationship and both are important for having a healthy body. You can’t just do one piece of the puzzle and reach your full fitness potential. You’ll quickly find that quality sleep will help you wake up refreshed, recovered and ready for another grueling (yet satisfying) workout and for anything else life throws at you that day.