Prioritizing Sleep

By March 13, 2022March 16th, 2022No Comments
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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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Author TurnFit

TurnFit Personal Trainers is founded by David Turnbull or “Coach David” – an experienced and successful Personal Trainer who strives to build happier, healthier lives every day. With a focus on holistic health, we pride ourselves on making a difference and were recently awarded the Top Choice Award for Personal Trainer in Vancouver for the 5th year in a row. Every trainer at TurnFit is committed and relentless in our pursuit to help you reach your health and wellness goals. It’s our mission to help you to build the skills, and mindset, it takes to feel successful in all areas of your life. We look forward to hearing from you! -David Turnbull

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