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 11 p.m. I am not in the gym really early on most days, but I still aim for about seven hours of sleep a night.
Do you set an alarm clock? I only set an alarm except for my only early day – Wednesday – when I train with my coach. I need to jump start my day with a protein shake or some form of breakfast.
If you aim on getting fit, you need to budget time for 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.
Here are some tips to get a good night’s sleep
- 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.
- 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.