How sleeping well helps you crush your fitness goals
Exploring the connection between diet, sleep and fitness
Are you consistent with your workouts, eating mindfully and doing everything right – but not getting the results you want?
The culprit is probably not getting enough rest or sleep.
Sleep gives the body some time to recover and build up the muscles that have worked hard during exercise.
Sleeping effectively helps build up lean muscle.
Lack of sleep not only affects appetite, but also the immune system, muscle recovery, mood-regulating hormones, and energy levels. It also increases the risk of developing health disorders like diabetes and heart disease.
What’s more, lack of sleep affects our energy reserves and puts us more at risk of developing exercise-related injuries during workouts.
Have you ever noticed that you feel more hungry and crave calorie-dense foods on days you haven’t slept well enough? Now we know what the culprits are - ghrelin and leptin - appetite modulation hormones!
The levels of ghrelin and leptin in our bloodstream are directly influenced by how much sleep we’ve had.
Ghrelin is responsible for alerting you when you feel hungry, and need food. Leptin is the antidote - telling you you’ve had enough.
Now, say, you slept for four or fewer hours on one day. This lack of sleep can cause ghrelin levels to climb all the way up to 30% and leptin levels to drop down to 15%!
You can guess what comes next - overeating - which leads to weight gain over time.
The hustle mentality has us convinced that we can’t afford to rest. That we have to constantly be productive to be worthy. This is a recipe for burnout. Take time out for yourself. Log out of work at a set time, and schedule time away from your phone, laptop, or other screens. Eat mindfully, without screens to encourage a sole focus on the meal. Read a book, invest in self-care, and prioritize your sleep - the key to your mental and physical wellness.
What can you do to improve your sleep?
💦 Switch out the caffeine for water, natural fruit juices, electrolyte-infused drinks, or chamomile/green tea.
⏰ Curate a bedtime routine for yourself to wind down. Put the screens away, stop eating a few hours before bed and try to sleep before midnight.
🛏 Invest in soft, breathable bedding, and lavender pillow spray to enhance the sense of calm in your bedroom. Dim the lights and have sufficient cooling in the room. Some people find that the sound of the fan serves as white noise and helps them sleep better. Trial and error can help you figure out what works for you!
Having a good night’s sleep sets you up for success the next day because you wake up feeling well-rested and ready to conquer the day. So ensure those eight hours of sleep, and get up, work out and get going!
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