So why is sleep so important? We require sleep for a number of reasons, our bodies need time to shut off at the end of each day, time to process all of the day’s information and events, time to repair and reset our energy systems and pathways, time to shut off our conscious mind and prepare for the next day at hand. All of this applies to every individual, and this is without going into why it is so important for our fitness goals. We should all be prioritizing sleep, today I will discuss why.
There are many steps involved in practicing good sleep hygiene, and incorporating a sleep schedule into our lives. The goal of our sleep structure is to optimize our energy levels day by day, to recover and repair from the stimuli we place on our bodies daily. When we are focusing on our training, sleep has to be a priority. You cannot be successful with your fitness goals if you do not prioritize sleep. When we are training, our recovery is just as important as the work we do in the gym, our recovery capabilities are based on nutrition and our sleep. We have already discussed the vigilance that is required with nutrition to achieve our goals, and we need the same level of importance placed on our sleep. When we have finished training, our bodies will begin the recovery process almost immediately, we need to replenish our muscles and organs through food. This process continues overnight while we sleep, our bodies will shut off, and the nutrients we have digested throughout the day will work their magic in repairing the damage to the muscles we have caused through training or metabolic stress.
Why is this so important? Because without the optimal level of sleep, we will not have recovered from the day before work- meaning we are starting the day with a handicap, and our bodies are behind where they should be, from the off. The repair that occurs overnight while we sleep prepares us for another day of work, and leaves us in a point of recovery so that we can continue to train. If we are continuing to place stress on the body while not fully recovered, it can have adverse effects and we can actually regress, the opposite of the purpose of our training. That is why sleep is so important, to ensure we progress. Having the correct recovery (food + sleep) will allow our bodies to facilitate the adaptations we are trying to achieve through our training.
So how can we prioritize this function? There are a number of ways and countless remedies for an individual with poor sleep. But they first must be willing to try new things and be positive. A lot of clients I’ve worked with with poor sleep almost seem happy to accept it and not willing to actively change it. There are supplements available to help set a good sleep cycle, Magnesium, Melatonin, Ashwagandha, etc. There are countless natural treatments too, early morning sunlight exposure can help to reset our bodies’ circadian rhythm so that our bodies’ sleep cycle will align with the rise and set of the sun. We are constantly exposed to blue lights in today’s world, phone screens, laptops, television, etc. Limiting these outside stimuli before bed can help the brain to shut off when it needs to. Ensuring our last meal is digested no later than 90 minutes before bedtime is another thing to be sure of, as our bodies cannot enter a state of sleep while digestion is occurring.
By now we should be starting to think more about our sleep hygiene, and why it’s so important to have a healthy sleep cycle not just for training purposes but for everyday life. If you are someone with more deep-rooted sleep issues, seek professional help. Do not accept the cards you’re dealt, fixing this issue could lead to a higher quality of life, approach it with a positive attitude, keep trying and you will resolve it. Nothing in life is certain, not even your insomnia.
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Heath is essential to living an optimal life with the most positive experiences you can have. TurnFit helps you extract your true why from your goals. By asking the right questions, we learn as much as we can from our clients. We understand the genuine need, not just the wants. We create a total wellness program that includes the days when you meet with us and homework on your own time. The key to success is proper programming and consistency. It’s easy for us to keep our clients consistent when we know their deep motivation for their goals. We know there is so much misinformation on health and fitness that it can be overwhelming when trying to level up your health that some people don’t know where to start. We will empower you to start and give you all the tools and knowledge that you can do it on your own anytime you choose. We love to laugh and have fun with our clients feel their workouts are the highlight of their day. You will look forward to every workout.
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