5 Ways Dreadful Sleep Wrecks Your Fitness and How to Fix It
There may be many things you try to do diligently to achieve your fitness goals. You eat healthily, exercise hard; you take the recommended supplements and drink plenty of water. However, there is one often-overlooked factor-sleep!
Many ailments are caused and exacerbated by chronic sleep deprivation. Insufficient sleep can just as readily sabotage your fitness goals. Investing in quality sleep enhancements like organic pillows by Live Good can prove invaluable to your fitness goals.
Here are the main reasons fatigue gets in the way of your fitness goals:
1. Lack Of Energy And Motivation To Work Out
The first and most obvious reason is simple: lack of energy to workout. Lack of sleep can also make us irritable, unfocused and unmotivated, making exercise seem endlessly more daunting than they already can be.
2. Food Craving
You may have noticed when you are sleep deprived; unhealthy food cravings are more intense. A recent study has proven our appetite-regulating hormones are adversely affected when we are tired, and we will be driven to eat much more than we usually would.
3. Slower Metabolism
Sleep is necessary to keep every system in our body functioning at optimum efficiency-systems upon which our entire metabolism rely. Needless to say, when these start dwindling due to lack of sleep, our metabolism will suffer. Studies show that lack of sleep leads to poor glucose regulation, poor insulin resistance and hormonal imbalances-leading to weight gain, poor athletic performance, overeating and low energy levels.
4. Higher Cortisol Levels
Poor sleep may wreak havoc on our hormones associated with obesity, unhealthy food cravings, and energy levels. Of these hormones, cortisol imbalance can have one of the most profound effects. Cortisol is most elevated when we are stressed and sleep deprived. Over time, high cortisol levels may further prevent sleep as well as causing depression, increased fat storage around the stomach area and excessive sugar cravings.
5. Compromised Gut Bacteria
A small Swedish study shows a lack of sleep (as little as four and half hours of sleep, maximum, for two consecutive days) can have significant consequences on the levels of flora in the gut needed for proper digestion and efficient metabolism and sustained energy levels. Doctors and scientists have long been investigating the link between gut health and obesity, with several studies proving the association between the two.
How do we get more sleep?
Now that we know how important sleep is, just how do we get more of it?
- Plan your schedule, prioritizing rest as much as workouts
- Avoid these foods at least four hours before bedtime:
- spicy foods
- Eat more of these foods closer to bedtime, which may aid in good sleep:
- Food rich in magnesium, including spinach, yogurt, beans
- Food rich in potassium, including squash, sweet potato, white beans
- Food rich in calcium, including dairy, broccoli
- Food rich in carbohydrates, including bread, pasta, rice
- Find ways to relax before bedtime, like a hot bath, soothing music and relaxing activities. Disengaging from stressful work or concerns an hour before getting into bed will help you to unwind mentally-making sleep easier.
It is unwise to underestimate the power sleep has to keep us functioning at our best and the destructive power a lack of sleep has to destroy our bodies and weight loss achieving goals.