Different variables can effect the way your body responds to exercise, especially strength training. One of the more important areas to monitor is your quality of sleep. Inadequate sleep can have adverse effects on diet and energy levels. A lack of sleep is associated with an increase in cortisol (known as the stress hormone). It can also be the root cause of low energy levels throughout the day.
Association Between Sleep and Exercise
You work hard in the gym and try to eat healthy to give yourself the best chance for success. The last thing you want to do is ruin those odds by getting minimal sleep. Research from University of Chicago and University of Wisconsin show people who slept more carried less body fat. Subjects who monitored caloric intake and averaged 5.5 hours of sleep, had more body fat compared to subjects consistently getting 8.5 hours of sleep.
Additional research has shown people getting less than six hours of sleep have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those sleeping more than six hours. This is important because inflammation is linked to diabetes, stroke, heart disease, arthritis, and premature aging. This data was published in the Centers for Disease and Control and Morbidity and Mortality Report.
Finally, the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study looked at more than 1,000 subjects regarding their sleep patterns. They found those who slept less than 8 hours a night had an increase in BMI proportional to decreased sleep.
Recommended Amount of Sleep
National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of uninterrupted, quality sleep for adults (ages 18-64). For older adults (age 65+), they suggest 7-8 hours of sleep a night. These recommendations were updated in 2015 and published in Sleep Health: The Official Journal of the National Sleep Foundation.
Exercise Should Help You Sleep Better
It’s great if your workout makes you feel pumped and full of fire, but that hyped-up feeling should be left in the gym. If you’re still experiencing the side effects of adrenaline while you’re getting ready to hit the hay, then there may be a problem. Light stretching, yoga poses or meditation, at the end of your routine should help the body relax more before hitting the shower.
Sleep is of vital importance to any fitness regime, and to all aspects of your physical and mental health. If you find that you are struggling for that essential restful sleep when you go to bed at night, then take every effort to find a way of improving things. This could include speaking to a doctor if it becomes a chronic issue. They may suggest a sleep study to determine if you have sleep apnea. Sleeping well is a foundational building block to everything else in life. It is one of the most important things in any wellness routine.
One final thought on the importance of sleep that’s explained nicely in the book, Biological Rhythms and Exercise. “Weight-training exercises may be unaffected by partial sleep loss early on in a training session, but the performance suffers due to lack of drive and concentration as the (exercise) session continues.” Sleep isn’t just a way to recuperate energy at the end of a long day; the quality and the quantity of rest you get has major implications for your health, both physically and mentally.
By following the advice above and working hard to establish a good sleeping routine, you’ll see the best results both in and out of the gym.
Stay Strong Together
Jefit app as named best fitness app for 2023 by the International Association of Strength Coaches. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. The app also has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefits exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals.