No matter what your fitness goal is, it’s human nature for us to want to not only get it done, but get it done fast. We have this innate force in us that makes us generally impatient when it comes to our goals, & want to rush the process, but did you realize that the answer to your muscle build or weight loss can be sitting right next to you. An adequate amount of sleep paired with your extensive and consistent workout routine is in essence the holy grail to your weight loss journey. We’re not telling you to put the dumbbells down, grab a pillow, and sleep you life away, but what we are saying that you should continue to build value in your body by increasing and growing within your workouts, and give your hardworking body the respect it needs to work harder the next time.
Building Under Construction
Sleeping is a form of medicine for your muscles, but it is suggested to have a small meal filled with protein, fiber, and healthy fats to feed your recently broken down muscles and gives it the repair it needs. Not eating before bed increases protein synthesis, but not where we want it. During sleep protein synthesis does occur, but it has little to no effect on the muscles where we want them, but it’s targeted more towards the gastrointestinal tract. When this happens, your body begins to eat at your muscles, and your muscles are broken down to give amino acids to the stomach. This “steal from Peter to pay Paul” effect is more commonly known as nocturnal eating. Another area to consider is that human growth hormones are released while we’re sleeping. During your deepest sleep, men secretes between 60% to 70% of their daily human growth hormone, so if you’re not getting your sleep, you’re not building.
Belly Be Gown
When people typically think about the image of someone losing weight, they typically think of someone who eats less and moves more. Even though being active is very important, and as I said in the previous section, sticking to your consistent workout plan while pushing yourself to grow is necessary but so is sleep. For one example, not getting an adequate amount of sleep with your workouts not only causes muscle soreness and potential injuries from muscle exhaustion, but it also can drop you insulin levels by more than 30 percent. Fat cells gets rid of fatty acids and lipids from your blood stream when your insulin is working properly, but when your insulin drops, it begins to store fat in all of the wrong places. Not only will this cause an increase in weight, but it also puts a strain on your liver and other vital organs to simply do what they are supposed to do.
Can you imagine someone working at a supermarket as a shell stocker carrying an extra 100 pounds on their back throughout their entire 8 hour shift? This is a dramatic representation, but this is just to give you an idea of how hard your organs are working when they shouldn’t have to work that hard.
Ways To Get Some Shut Eye
Even thought we’ve talked about the importance of sleep in regards to your fitness journey, what if you have a difficult time falling & staying asleep? The Huffington Post has a few suggestions to kick that insomnia out of the window and get you back to bed.
Try to force yourself to stay awake until it’s time for bed, and push through & don’t power nap.
Hide your clock
Cool your room
Scent your bedroom with lavender
Breathe in deeply & exhale fully to relax your body