Are you training rigorously every week and watching your diet carefully?
You are drinking enough water, using the right supplements and training hard, but you still can’t see the results you were hoping for?
Maybe the missing part of a successful fitness journey is actually the sleep?
Well, training and right nutrition are well known as the most important parts of getting good results while working out, but they are often not enough.
Sleep is one part that is mostly forgotten but it’s very important. Sleep is often the part that will make all the difference.
Our body needs sleep for normal function and that’s why we need to make sure we are doing our best to have a good nights sleep.
You’ll be better in the gym if you get enough sleep
When you are active and train hard, your body desperately needs sleep.
When you are well-rested you will be able to perform much better in the gym and will be less fatigued. You need at least 7-8 hours of sleep during the night if you are working out.
If your training is especially hard, you could need even more sleep.
You will not function well just on the caffeine and energy drinks and your body will be stressed if it isn’t well-rested.
Sleep is essential for building muscles
Even if you think you are building your muscles in the gym, that’s not 100% true.
In the gym, while lifting heavy and training hard, you are actually tearing muscle fibres.
While sleeping and resting your body is repairing muscles and that makes them grow. This is why the recovery period is crucial for getting results in your fitness regime.
It is recommended that you get at least 8 hours of sleep and even more if you train extra hard.
This will help you to feel more energized, to perform better and work out harder and to build muscles much quicker.
Sleep will make you healthier. It also improves your mental health and hormonal balance. And you’ll feel better and more motivated because you won’t be tired and drained from everything you do.
Less sleep is making you fatter
This is a fact – being sleep deprived can make you fatter.
Your body needs sleep for normal functioning. When you are lacking sleep your body is under a stress, your hormones may be thrown off and this includes hormones for controlling your hunger.
Your body feels it’s in survival mode and you’ll feel hunger more, which means you’ll eat more.
Also, when you are longer awake, you’ll want to eat more. If you are awake at midnight, you’ll probably want a snack that you would never eat if you went to bed at 10 pm.
How to sleep better?
There are ways to help yourself sleep more and sleep better which can actually have an amazing impact not only on your fitness results but on your entire health.
Here are a few that can help you:
- Sleeping schedule – putting sleeping in your schedule is going to help you go to bed on time and you won’t stay awake too much. Try to be consistent and go to bed early enough even on weekends and holidays.
- Make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep. Sleeping hours before midnight are the ones where you’ll sleep better so try to go earlier to bed and catch an hour or two before midnight.
- Bedtime ritual – every time before you go to bed try to do some relaxing activities to wind down. You can read a book, listen to music, meditate or do whatever you find relaxing.
- Don’t eat at least an hour or two before bedtime, this will help you to fall asleep faster.
- Make sure your room is not too warm and air the room before bedtime, fresh air can help with sleeping.
- If you find especially difficult to fall asleep you can try to drink herbal tea before bedtime or use a sleep-inducing essential oil like lavender oil. Use it in a diffuser in your room before bedtime.
- Magnesium can help you with sleeping too. It is great for relaxing your body and muscles and will help you to sleep better. Try drinking magnesium before sleeping or using topical magnesium oil for best absorption. Epsom salt baths can help you too, they are a great source of magnesium and bath can give you extra relaxation.
- When you sleep, make sure your room is dark and don’t use artificial lights as this can have a bad impact on your sleep. Your brain needs dark to get proper rest.
Sleep is essential for our health but also for the ultimate results in fitness we so desperately want.
Don’t do the mistake to train super hard and watch your diet and then mess things up because you are not getting enough sleep.
Remember, we cannot have the best results if we don’t give our best on all fields, and together with a clean diet and great training, sleep is one of those areas that we need to work on.