We rarely start planning for our fitness goals by charting out the next time we get a solid eight hours of sleep. Giving your sleep the credit it’s due is a huge step in the right direction when you want to reach your fitness goals!
Between the home gym, next cycling class, and meal prepping for the week, be sure to understand the value sleep has on your fitness goals. With good sleep comes great progress!
Sleep and Exercise
When you exercise whether through lifting weights, CrossFit, or yoga, your body is breaking down and in recovery, rebuilds micro-tears in your muscles. Overworking your muscles can cause permanent damage and sleep does a lot to keep your body working the way it should.
Sleeping allows your body to recover from this exercise and conserve energy for your next session at the gym. Good quality sleep helps the body produce a growth hormone that’s similar to that made when we’re in our adolescence. While in our youth, this growth hormone would help us sprout up like Jack’s beanstalk, in adulthood this helps build lean muscle after a workout.
Running on Empty
Most Americans don’t get the sleep they need! We spend plenty of time at the gym but we don’t hit the hay often enough to see the benefits we so desperately desire.
More than 30% of adults in America are sleep-deprived leaving people out of luck after a workout. This sleep deprivation leaves them feeling physically drained and their muscles without the downtime to repair and grow.
Glycogen is the store of carbs in your body that’s used up when you work out. As you burn up these stores, it makes you tired and lacking sleep can make it harder for your body to keep these stores on hand to use when working out again. Sleep helps rebuild this storage space and replenish your stock for the next session at the gym.
Making it Happen
You’re putting in your time at the gym, hitting the weight room, drinking plenty of water, and making sure your meals are well-balanced and healthy. But between scrolling through social media and everything buzzing through your brain, you’re just not getting to sleep as you need to to reach your fitness goals. Without good sleep, your body can’t build lean muscle and recover!
It can be hard to get out of a rut when it comes to bad habits that keep you awake.
There are a few simple things you can do to help snooze your way to health:
Get into a Good Routine
Routine is everything! The more standardized you can make your daily routine, the better your body will respond. When you create a routine, your body will learn when it needs to go to sleep and stay asleep. Once you create this routine you may find yourself dozing off at the appropriate time without even trying!
Turn off your Device
Let’s face it: we’re attached to our devices. If it’s not our phones, it’s tablets, computers, and gaming systems that crowd our space and keep us awake. The blue light that’s emitted from these devices does a lot to keep you awake and running.
As you’re getting ready for bed, opt for a book or audiobook instead of staring at a screen. In addition to reducing the amount of blue light you’re exposed to, you’ll also keep your mind from racing as you scroll and scroll through stories and videos.
Your body is hyped up after a day, even after a long day, and taking time to wind down is one of the most efficient ways to get adequate sleep. Give yourself half an hour before bedtime to wind down with a book, a bath, or anything else you like to do to relax.
Try to keep work or other obligations out of this time including doing any sort of workouts. It may be tempting to crunch out thirty push ups right before bed but that will only release adrenaline into your system and make it harder to sleep!
Make it Dark
If you’re struggling to fall asleep and stay asleep, you may have too much light going on in your room.
Whether you’ve got light seeping in from the street or the lights on your alarm clock, sleeping in a dark room will help you get better sleep in the long-run. If there’s no way to block out all of the light by removing light sources, get a quality sleep mask that will block out any lingering light.
A Few Moves
Part of your daily fitness routine might be some serious yoga and while that time is great to work toward building muscles and flexibility, you can also incorporate some less intense moves into your nightly routine. Light stretching and breathing exercises are a great way to help your body relax and prepare for bed. Start with some simple poses that open up your airways and help you breathe deeper and better as you settle down.
Supplement your Sleep
Sometimes you just can’t get to sleep or stay asleep. In this instance, you can always try some supplements to help your body get the sleep it needs! Melatonin is one of the most common supplements and can be found in a wide range of applications. If you want to stick with something more natural, you can try using essential oil blends or pure oils like lavender through a diffuser that will help heal your body as well as lull you to sleep.
Get in a Good Workout!
Good sleep leads you closer to reaching your fitness goals while getting good exercise during the day will help you fall asleep and stay asleep! Be sure to stick to your workout routine as well as your sleep routine and they’ll work together in no time to help you reach your fitness goals. Working your body during the day will lead to better sleep at night.
Sleeping well at night is the prime time for your body to convalesce and recuperate from your workout during the day. If you’re trying to reach your fitness goals, be sure to plan for good sleep along with a weight lifting routine, meal plan, and cardio!
Getting that sleep naturally can be hard to achieve. Take the time to unwind at the end of the day and stick to a routine to be sure your body is getting the time it needs to rebuild lean muscle. If you’ve hit a roadblock with your fitness goals, you might not be getting enough sleep! Get some solid sleep and you’ll start to see progress toward your goals in no time!
About the Author
Charles is a managing editor at TheSleepMatters.com, a website dedicated in helping people get a better night’s sleep by providing expert reviews on best mattresses online. Right before taking his first breakfast, he makes it sure that he has completed his daily 20-minute crossfit workout.