You've probably heard people say that you get your best results, such as muscle growth and repair when we sleep. This is 100% true. Lack of sleep can affect muscle repair/recovery, our appetite and our metabolism
When we don't get enough sleep, the function of Human Growth Hormone is disrupted which then disrupts muscle and bone growth and repair. A decrease of lean muscle will in turn affect our metabolism, which is our body's ability to burn energy. Lack of sleep also disrupts the metabolism of glucose in the body, leaving you more reliant on eating more foods that are fat rich and sugar dense to increase energy. Sufficient sleep also slows down the ageing process, as the active muscles in our face get to rest, skin cells and facial muscles get to relax and repair.
By now you are probably wondering how exercise plays apart in effective sleep. Below are a few points on how this happens.
- Exercise relieves mental stress and fatigues muscles, encouraging the body to relax and rest.
- Relieves insomnia by decreasing stimulation, anxiety and depression. Exercise especially cardio, stimulates hormones that are released in the brain and make you feel good! This is how "a runner's high" occurs.
- The timing of a training sessions is important. First thing in the morning helps to wake our body up and get the day started, then at least 3 hours before bed so our body can unwind before we sleep.
- Research has found that an exercise regime can help cut sleep apnoea by 25% which is directly linked to high blood pressure, cardiovascular and metabolic issues.
So how do we improve our sleep patterns?
- Set a sleep schedule. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends, holidays and days off. This encourages consistency and your body will find waking up at the same time habit.
- Don't go to bed either hungry or over full and curb caffeine after around 1 pm. If you go to bed hungry you are more likely to wake up and need to eat causing a disturbance to your sleep. On the flip side if you're over full you are likely to have trouble in sleeping due to being uncomfortable.
- Avoid vigorous exercise too close to bedtime as it stimulates the body to secrete the stress hormone, Cortisol, which activates the alerting mechanism to our brains. Aim to finish a hard-cardio session if possible, at least 3 hours before bed.
- Don't use your phone before bed. Did you know that the light on your mobile phone actually stimulates your brain? So, scrolling through social media while you are lying in bed will actually prolong you falling asleep.
- Brush your teeth, the taste of toothpaste will signal it's time for bed.
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*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.