Exercise and Sleep
Everyone knows exercise is critical to a healthy lifestyle. The health benefits of exercise are irrefutable and it improves both our physical and mental health. Not only can exercise offer immediate results, like improved mood and self-confidence, but it is a long-term investment in our overall health. For most of us, though, finding the motivation to exercise is often a daily battle, especially when you’re tired.
Less than 5% of adults meet the recommended daily amount of physical activity, but don’t get discouraged! Exercise may seem too intimidating, too tiring, too difficult or too time consuming, but what if you could sleep your way to a better workout?
It’s possible: sleep mentally and physically prepares you for daily fitness. So, to help you finally get in your daily recommended activity, we’re sharing what you need to know about the relationship between exercise and sleep.
1. Sleep deprivation inhibits the breakdown of lactic acid.
When you exercise, lactic acid builds up in your muscles and can cause temporary pain and potentially problematic muscle knots. However, adequate sleep increases oxygen supply to the muscles and allows the breakdown of lactic acid. What does all this mean? If you don’t get an adequate amount of sleep, you could be in a lot more pain the next day! Just think: you’ll be more likely to work out if you’re not walking funny or in pain the next day.
2. Energy stores are lower after sleep deprivation.
The body relies on glycogen, energy stored in the muscle, to fuel your workout. During your workout, fatigue will set in once glycogen stores are depleted. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can decrease pre-workout glycogen stores, significantly affecting your endurance. This means you’ll have less stamina during your workouts, and you won’t feel high on energy afterward, either. The long and short of it? You will be more likely to work out if you feel energized before and after.
3. Lack of sleep decreases motor skills and makes you more prone to injury.
Poor sleep results in impairments in cognitive function and reaction time. Sleep deprivation also results in higher levels of fatigue (which we all knew, right?). Current research suggests a strong relationship between decreased sleep and increased risk of injury. A study of adolescent athletes found that individuals who slept less than 8 hours per night were 70% more likely to report an injury than those who slept more than 8 hours. So, please get your sleep, be careful while exercising, and don’t hurt yourself. Nothing is more likely to ruin a good workout habit than an injury.
4. Quality sleep enhances cognitive performance.
Getting good quality and quantity of sleep allows your mind and body to function at peak levels. Research has demonstrated that sleep deprivation inhibits performance through increased perceived exertion. This means that the body is still able to function normally, but the motivation and drive to get through a workout is severely impaired. Half the battle of exercise is getting yourself to start, and good sleep will help you make decisions that align with your goals. Exercise is all about motivation, so getting extra sleep can give your motivation to work out a big boost.
5. Sleep deprivation decreases conviction and belief in your ability to reach goals.
Sleep deprivation studies have indicated that individuals not only perceive tasks to be more difficult when they’re not getting enough sleep, but the expectation of their own ability to complete the task is low. If you’ve set goals to establish or enhance your exercise routine, the prospect of success for those goals is greatly impaired when tired. Everything, not just exercise, seems more difficult when we don’t get enough sleep. How often have you felt like giving up, but then things looked brighter after some good shut-eye?
Lack of sleep not only means less physical energy, but our mind also makes the task (or exercise) seem more difficult. This study shows that a significant component of exercise is all in our heads — and our heads need sleep to think and act in line with our goals.
6. Sleep deprivation reduces the effects of growth hormone.
The growth hormone is often associated with development in children, but as you get older, it plays an important role in muscle tissue recovery and regulating the body’s metabolism. 95% of the daily production of growth hormone is released during stage 3 of our REM cycle, in which the body actively repairs and restores itself. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation significantly undermines this process, which undermines all of its benefits. These benefits include muscle recovery, metabolism, and energy production, as well as to help us look and feel young.
7. Exercise effectiveness may vary with chronotype.
Chronotype is the propensity for an individual to sleep at a particular time during a 24-hour period. Late chronotypes generally benefit from evening exercise, while early chronotypes benefit from morning exercise. Studies have shown that exercising in opposition to your particular chronotype can create circadian misalignment and can impact your heart rate. This indicates that sleep deprivation can disrupt your circadian rhythm, resulting in decreased performance during exercise and increased recovery time after exercise. The time you choose to exercise makes a difference, and it depends heavily on the amount of sleep you’re getting. That’s why it’s so important to figure out what amount of sleep is most effective for you.
8. Daily workouts can prime your body for quality sleep.
Sleep and exercise are a two-way street. Exercise has a chemical effect on the brain, as it releases adenosine. Adenosine will gradually build up in our bodies throughout the day, causing us to feel tired. Basically, the harder we exert ourselves, the more affected we are by this chemical. Research has demonstrated that physical activity promotes faster onset of sleep and better quality of sleep at night.
Exercise and Sleep: Which is more important?
We know it’s tempting to say you can just sleep your way to a healthier, happier body — and that’s partially true. But the truth is, your body needs both exercise and sleep to function at its best. When you consider sleep to be an important part of your workout regimen, you’ll see the benefits. Creating a balance of quality sleep and exercise throughout your week will not only enhance your workout routine, but it will help you function better in all aspects of your life.
However, if sleep has always felt like a struggle to you, you may need to find natural support. Unlike traditional sleep medications, RestoreZ has formulated a line of natural sleep supplements that align with your circadian rhythm and ensure you’re getting the most out of your sleep. Instead of feeling groggy or uncoordinated the next day, you’ll feel rested, restored, and ready for your next workout.
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