When it comes to performing optimally in your chosen physical activity there are numerous factors which can cause an adverse effect towards this. The obvious ones are always alcohol and diet but this is by no means an inclusive list. There is also rest and more specifically, sleep.
Although it’s important to be physically active and undertake a minimal amount of exercise per day and week to maintain the health and fitness benefits, it’s also just as, if not more so, important to catch up on your sleep requirements. Although there is no set pattern for adults, research points towards from between 6-9 hours sleep every night. With this in mind; are you and your body getting adequate amounts of sleep?
In the hustle and bustle lifestyle that many of us now appear to live in, individuals are constantly on the go. Whether this be through work commitments or social and home life, there is normally something that needs to be done at any given time. The problem with this is that it is usually your levels of sleep that suffer. After all, there are only so many hours in a day!
So what can a lack of sleep cause? Apart from the obvious grumpiness that those closest to you will often complain of, sleep can also bring about adverse effects in many aspects of your life. This article considers just a few of these;
Let’s be honest, the last thing you want to do when you’re suffering with sleep deprivation is to attend the gym and do a heavy weight session! Lack of sleep is the reason for this. It can sap energy levels and make you feel lazy and unmotivated. Furthermore, your ability to concentrate on any given task dwindles, making complex exercise tasks somewhat difficult.
Your natural energy levels and motivational levels to some extent go hand in hand, with one directly impacting upon another. Either way, sleep deprivation is often responsible. Previous research controlling sleep patterning has demonstrated decreased energy levels and overall athletic performance when provided with inadequate rest and sleep intervals.
Although there is a commonly held belief that constantly being on the go will burn more calories, a lack of sleep is also correlated with potential weight gain. The reasoning for this is based around hormonal balances. Sleep deprivation can thwart key hormones responsible for weight regulation whilst at the same time increasing your feeling of appetite and hunger.
Saving the best until last! For those of you that exercise regularly and are serious about your training, it is this factor that should definitely make you sit up and take note. Sleep deprivation will ultimately affect your athletic performance. During the initial stages of your sleep cycle, growth hormone is released, which allows for musculoskeletal development.
Not only might a lack of sleep cause plateaus in your training, but you may even note decrements, as your ability to lift more and recover effectively between exercise bouts becomes less obvious.
Sleep really is just as important as your chosen physical activity. Without it, you might find that one or more of the above factors starts coming to the forefront of your attention. This has the potential to not only impact on your physical activity but in other aspects of your life also. With all this in mind, why not kick back, get comfortable and put your newly found knowledge of sleep into practice straight away.