Sleep that is - of course 😀. Are you getting enough?
Did you know that sleep can help your exercise routine? There is a proven correlation between sleep and exercise, with each one impacting the other. If you don’t get enough sleep, it can result in poor exercise performance and even weight gain. Fortunately, the opposite is also true - there is evidence to support that having good sleep can result in more productive exercise, as well as exercise helping to improve sleep quality.
Surprisingly, a lack of sleep might also be the reason that you can’t shed those extra few pounds despite trying to eat well and exercise hard.
I work shifts and when I’m on nights I rarely get more than 4hrs sleep (during the day that is, not whilst I’m at work!!) which might explain why I might appear tired when we have a morning or evening fitness session during a set of nights! I struggle to get to sleep when I finish work, my head can be buzzing and it will take a while to relax. I’m sure those of you who work long hours or have young children, or both understand exactly what I mean. For those of you who get a solid 8hrs a night – you lucky things!
Here comes some science ……
How does this lack of sleep affect your body? A recent study in Health and Disease looked into the correlation of body mass index, sleep and diabetes. This study concluded that exercise can help increase insulin sensitivity and sleep quality, while decreasing body fat percentage and the negative effects of obstructive sleep apnea. Isn’t it crazy that just two changes in lifestyle can have such a positive health outcome!
Sleep and appetite
A study with 12 young, healthy, normal weight men found that just two nights in a row with four hours sleep (and no napping) resulted in lower levels of the hormones leptin and higher levels of ghrelin.
Low leptin and high ghrelin will both stimulate hunger and appetite meaning that the men will both end up eating more dense, processed foods like sweets, baked goods and bread - not good!
Sleep and exercise performance When you’re not sleeping well, it's quite typical to find yourself struggling to maintain your usual level of exercise. Sleep is also the main time your body recovers from exercise and is also when you rebuild your torn muscle tissues. Without this recovery time, you're going to go into your next Get Fit Today session feeling tired and sluggish.
So the key is to make sure that you're getting your 7-8 hours’ sleep every night. Not only are you going to feel better, think clearer, and be much stronger when it comes to battling those food cravings that are so common with fat loss diets, but you'll also really be helping promote better long-term health as well.
Top Tips for a good night’s sleep
1. Try to stick to a routine (same time to bed, same time to get up)
2. Run yourself a hot bath before bedtime
3. Prepare a warm milky drink or herbal tea for your late night cuppa
4. Avoid normal tea, coffee or alcohol after 5pm if you can or choose de-caf
5. Avoid big meals in the evening.
6. Keep your bedroom dark, cool and quiet
7. Don’t nap in the daytime!
8. Try a relaxing technique such as tensing and relaxing your muscles. (Start at your toes and work your way up hold for 2 seconds each time before relaxing.)
There you go, now you know! A lack of sleep will have a negative affect on your fitness training, and could lead to weight gain or make it more difficult to burn fat BUT by introducing regular exercise this could improve your sleep pattern and help with all of these instead.
If you feel you are ready to start some exercise (the moment lockdown is lifted) we are here for you. To help, we are offering your first months membership for just £25 instead of £32. A chance for you to get into some good healthy habits for a great price - just click here!
Dont forget to check out our Facebook Isolation group and join in with the online workouts which will keep you going until the parks open. Until then, stay safe everyone!