How much sleep do you get per night? Ideally, you should be clocking in 7 to 9 hours of quality ZZZ’s every night in order for your body to function at its best on a day-to-day basis. Yes, this includes those of you who lead active lifestyles – especially you, actually. After all, your body goes through quite a bit whenever you engage in intense workouts.
If you noticed that you’re not performing as well as you’d like to in the gym, then you need to check if you’re getting enough sleep – because that could be what’s affecting you. Today, Evolve Daily shares 5 Reasons Why Sleep Is So Important If You Wish To Maximize Your Performance In The Gym:
1) Because you won’t be able to give 100% when you lack sleep
We’re pretty sure you know what it feels like to run on too little sleep. Due to the fact that you basically feel like you can’t function, you might end up half-heartedly going through the motions of your workout – or worse, choose to forgo your workout completely. As a result, you won’t be able to truly make every moment in the gym count.
Besides that, your mind won’t be as sharp when you’re sleep deprived. That means it will be harder for you to pay attention and pick up the new techniques, as well as react quickly in those sparring sessions. After all, studies have shown that sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on cognitive skills.
2) Because sleep is essential for your body to build and repair muscle
Some people have the misconception that muscles are built in the gym. However, this isn’t how it works! When you work out, you produce micro tears in those muscle fibers – but they grow stronger and repair while you’re resting. Hence, it’s crucial to ensure that you get enough sleep, especially if you’re active! By getting the sleep you require, your muscles will then be able to recover effectively and you will then be able to get back to the gym stronger than ever.
3) Because poor sleep alters your fat cells
There’s so much more to sleep deprivation than the fact that you will feel tired and cranky. Well, besides your brain and body, your fat cells also go through a lot when you lack sleep. Ever heard of the term “sleep debt”? This basically happens when you don’t get enough sleep consecutively for a few days, perhaps during a busy period.
Unfortunately, when this happens, your body’s ability to use insulin properly gets messed up. This is bad because your fat cells can only eliminate fatty acids and lipids from your bloodstream and prevent storage when your insulin functions well. The more resistant you are to insulin, the more fat circulates in your bloodstream and the more insulin gets produced. As a result, this extra insulin ends up causing your body to store fat in the wrong places – like your liver – and puts you at risk of getting diseases such as diabetes (and actually make you fat too!) Thus, you will undo all your hard work at the gym.
4) Because sleep can affect your diet
Studies have shown that people tend to overeat when they’re sleep deprived. This is because the hormones that control appetite get affected – and as a result, you get hungry more easily and frequently.
What’s more, your body will try to compensate for your lack of energy in the form of food. So don’t be surprised if you notice that you tend to crave unhealthy food when you don’t get enough sleep the night before! When you don’t fuel up with good food, your body will not be able to perform as well in the gym.
5) Because not getting enough sleep can affect your immune system
Lastly, your immune system will also suffer when you don’t get enough sleep. Your immune cells are at their peak in the day, and they repair damaged tissue and fight off foreign antigens. At night, different types of immune cells peak in concentration, while catecholamine and cortisol production drops. Hence, this creates an environment that supports inflammation. In this state, your immune system can then form a response to invading bacteria or bugs. When you’re getting enough sleep, this inflammatory state is balanced by cortisol.
However, when you don’t get enough sleep, this inflammatory state becomes unbalanced. As a result, your immune system won’t function as well, and your risk of getting diseases, infections, and cancers increase. Also, you will get sick more easily – and this will keep you away from the gym.
If you truly wish to maximize your performance in the gym, giving your all and staying committed to your workouts is important – but sleep is just as crucial. So make sure you get enough rest every night!