Have you ever sacrificed your zzz’s just so you can go out on a longer morning run? Maybe you’ve also opted to spend late nights at the gym to do a few more reps or run an extra mile or two? While pushing yourself to exercise more can be a good thing, you should also know that if it means that you’re sacrificing sleep because you want to workout more, you’re not doing yourself much of a favor.
The first thing you need to know about having a healthy lifestyle is the fact that sleep is just as important as eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. A lot of people make the mistake of trading in a few hours of their zzz’s for an extra hour or two of training or exercising, which can make sense in theory, but can actually have bad effects to your health if done on the regular.
Sleep and exercise actually have a close relationship. Sleep affects how much you can workout, while exercising can help improve sleep. This is why it is important to find the right balance between the two if you want to get the most out of your efforts. You can’t just go for one and completely ignore the other as you might not achieve the stellar results you’re working so hard for.
Sleeping for Better Workouts
One of the reasons why sleep is so important if you want to get the best results from your workout is the fact that slumber helps you heal. Sleeping is still the best way to rest and relax your body after all the heavy physical activities you make your body do. Without a good night’s sleep, your body just feels tired, forcing you to exert more effort in completing a workout routine.
Lack of sleep is also the enemy of your muscles. Most people workout not just to burn fats but also to tone and strengthen their muscles, so they can be more ready to take on physical tasks. However, if you don’t get ample zzz’s, your body’s ability to make muscles are weakened. This can lead to muscle loss and even injuries while you’re working out.
Sleep will also help boost your immune system – an essential if you want to keep exercising. Since working out can be extremely tiring, you need to make sure that you’re not wearing yourself out and making your body vulnerable to diseases. Sleeping properly can do that for you, as a good lot of your body’s disease fighting substances are created while you’re asleep. These substances will help you keep out viruses that can cause colds, coughs, and a lot of other contagious diseases that can severely affect your wellbeing.
Sleeping for Weight Loss
If you’re working out to lose weight, missing out on some zzz’s is also bad for you. Sleep, for one, can already help you lose weight in itself. Some studies have shown that sleeping an additional 1 hour from what you’re used to can help you shed a few pounds for starters. It might not be much, but a pound is still a pound when it comes to weight loss, so it’s still something worth your time.
Then there’s also the fact that sleep helps curb your cravings for food, especially sweets. With sleep being a major source of energy to power you through the day, not getting enough means you’ll need to rely on food to fuel your daily activities. This is why despite all of some people’s efforts to workout, they’re still unable to lose a significant amount of weight because they don’t sleep right and are susceptible to giving in to cravings.
Without proper sleep, you’ll also most likely crave for food items that can perk you up instantly or make you feel good. Your body will want sugar loaded food, as well as salty and carb-loaded dishes. These are usually the very things that are bad for you if you want to shed some pounds.
Sleep and Exercise
Luckily, if you have found the right balance between sleep and exercise, things will work themselves out nicely for you. The right amount and timing of your exercise will help you get better quality zzz’s, while ample amount of sleep will give you the drive and energy to complete your workouts without straining yourself unnecessarily.
If you don’t know how to start in achieving a good balance between sleep and exercise, here are some easy tips you can try.
- Recognize that both are equally important to reach your health goals. Only by doing this will you stop sacrificing your zzz’s just to workout more.
- Get a good mattress. You’ll need a nice sleeping surface to rest your weary body on after a day packed with physical activities, so you should look for one that will provide ample support on your pressure points and feel cozy for a good night’s slumber. Sleep Number is a good choice as they offer a range of mattresses with varied firmness levels, allowing you to pick one that best suits your preference.
- Have the same determination in sleeping better as getting in shape. You can’t just rely on working out hard to get a good night’s sleep. You should also know a few tricks in how to wind down after a long day so you can get quality shuteye.