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Are you getting a good night’s sleep or are you counting sheep every night? I am hit and miss depending on how much water I have had to drink that day. Some nights I get up once and others I am up a few times, which is killer on my sleep cycle.
I may not get enough sleep but I try to be in bed by 10 p.m. because morning comes way too early. I am in the gym around 5 a.m. during competition prep and during off season, I just sleep in til about 6:30 a.m.
The alarm clock is set for 4:45 a.m. to get my morning workout completed. According to my Polar Loop, I get an average of 6 hours.
We are focused on our day-to-day tasks like work, errands, training and meal preparation that we often don’t give enough thought to the importance of sleep. It turns out, sleep is actually the most important activity of our day. No matter where you are in your fitness journey or what your goals are, sleep is essential for muscle gain and fat loss.
What happens when you have trouble sleeping?
Sleep deprivation can play a big part in weight control and muscle growth. Lack of sleep can cause your metabolism to slow down and can limit muscle repair and growth. Our bodies regulate hormones at night, especially those in charge of fat burning and appetite. When you don’t get enough deep sleep, your brain thinks that you have insufficient energy stores and then goes into a state of starvation, which ups your appetite.
Get Your Good Night’s Sleep Checklist
So, what can you do if you are having problems falling or staying asleep? Here are some tips on ways to sleep better:
- Establish a routine – Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning.
- Don’t sleep more than your body needs – Oversleeping can cause you to be sluggish and may disturb your subsequent night sleep.
- Exercise or move every day, but NOT right before bed, your metabolism can take up to 6 hours to slow down after you exercise.
- Make it dark, quiet and avoid electronics close to bed.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol later in the day.
- Find a relaxation technique before bed.
- Make sure you are getting the proper nutrients throughout the day to help you sleep at night. Sleeping problems can be caused by deficiencies in the diet.
How many hours of sleep do you get every night? What other tips do you have?