5 Reasons Sleep Affects Your Fitness

Kaleena Lawless

Personal Training Specialist

It seems these days, getting less than six hours of sleep is considered a characteristic of an ambitious, successful person. It's seen as a badge of honour. Where as people that catch 7-8 hours of sleep are seen as lazy and unproductive.

Well that's certainly untrue!


Here's a Quick story

A few months back I was working until the evening. Then in again very early in the morning. It took me hours to unwind and I ended up in bed much too late. I had to be up at 4am. So I accumulated a lot of lost Z's! I noticed the usual signs of sleep deprivation. Being easily stressed, unfocused and lacking energy as a few examples. What I never expected was actually the first thing I noticed. I was ALWAYS hungry. I could not control my appetite! I put on a few pounds rather quickly as a result.

Curious, I had to look in to this. I really wanted to figure out why this was happening to me. After researching and discovering the answers to my question, I knew I had to change my routine. Especially if I ever wanted to succeed with my fitness goals!

FIVE Reasons Why Losing Sleep Will Ruin Your Fitness Goals:

1. Sleep loss affects the hormone cortisol. It causes you to still feel hungry even though you have eaten an adequate amount of food.

2. Sleep deprivation interferes with carbohydrate metabolism, causing high blood glucose levels. Excess glucose means an overproduction of insulin, which equals an extra storage of body fat. Eventually this can lead to insulin resistance which can contribute to diabetes.

3. When you are in a deep sleep, growth hormones are at work. A lack of quality sleep will reduce the amounts of growth hormones, which are proteins set out to regulate the proportions of fat and muscle in your bod. This is the time your work in the weight room materializes. If you want muscle, you need a good night sleep!

4. The hormones leptin and ghrelin are also a big factor in weight loss and sleep patterns. Ghrelin tells you that you are hungry. Leptin lets you know when you are full. When you don't get enough sleep ghrelin rises while leptin levels fall. You wind up always feeling hungry. That is exactly what I experienced myself.

5. Symptoms of sleep loss such as stress and a lack of energy definitely affect your fitness plans. If you are not in the mood to work out and are too tired to anyway, then you will lose hard earned workouts and lose progress pretty quickly.

Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep every night. If you have trouble sleeping or you wake up a lot during the night, see a doctor. You may have insomnia or another type of sleep disorder.

Only getting a few hours of sleep each night won't prove you are the busiest person in the world. The only thing it will prove is how well you can sport the dark circles under your eyes!


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