Sleep and Exercise: A Friendly Match

You probably give a higher priority to getting your body perfect and strengthening your muscles. You certainly do appreciate high-quality and healthy food. But are you one of those people who overlook how vital sleep is for your physical performance and mental well-being? Well, let’s dig deep into how these two unlikely friends pair up.

Effect of sleep on workout performance

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Based on studies carried out, it has been established the vital role sleep plays for those seeking to perform well when it comes to sports and fitness. The studies indicate about half of all adults don’t get enough sleep – hence they are slow to exercise, are less accurate with their workouts, and they are prone to an accident if care is not taken.

Further studies do indicate your body recovers even better and faster when you get enough sleep. A good example is your body will not be able to distribute heat evenly across the body, hence resulting in you not sweating optimally. If you are not sweating optimally during your workout session, you will end up taking several breaks as your body overheats. The idea of you taking too many breaks while working out defeats your fitness goal. While others are actively involved in various workout sessions, you are probably spending more time sitting down. If you are serious about your fitness goals, then you need to ensure you get adequate sleep.

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Is it Ok to workout when you lack sleep?

It’s no surprise that too little sleep during the night leads to a lack of energy during the day. Have you not experienced when you sleep fewer hours at night, you wake up in the morning, and you feel terrible. Imagine going to the gym in such a state, and you are certainly going to struggle to carry out any meaningful exercise because you will be feeling tired and fatigue. You may not even get into the workout rhythm.

From my personal experience, when I sleep better at night, I find myself motivated with a high degree of desire to exercise the more. So the choice is yours, you want a good workout session, then sleep better. To answer the question, its not advisable to workout when you lack sleep.

How sleep affects our health and well-being

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When you don’t sleep well, you end up feeling grumpy or not working at your optimal best. There are other physical consequences associated with lack of sleep, but it’s important to point out that poor sleep puts you at greater risk of a severe medical condition. These conditions include becoming overweight, develop heart disease, high blood pressure and even diabetes.

Further lack of sleep may affect your brain and your mental well-being. When you don’t sleep well, you become unfocused, depressed over time, even your quality of life is reduced.

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How to get a good night’s sleep

Looking to get a good night sleep? There are many tips and tricks you can follow if you want a good night sleep, which results in better physical performance, good health and mental gain.

Sleep Longer

An ideal good sleeping hour is between 7-8 hours every night. This would vary from person to person, depending on their need.

Eat and Drink Properly

Try and stay away from caffeine just before bedtime but if you crave for a cup of coffee, then go for decaffeinated coffee. You should also avoid smoking and drinking alcohol, and feel free to take a light early dinner. Besides, be careful not to drink too much water, as toilet visits interfere with your sleep.

Get into a bedtime routine

You need to find a regular sleep rhythm that works best for you. Choose a time when you naturally feel tired and go to bed. Depending on the nature of your work, this may vary with individuals. In some countries, traffic is not always in your favour. However, try and get used to going to bed earlier in that case. If you get enough sleep, you will usually wake up by yourself at around the same time. If you use an alarm and you wake up before your alarm goes off, try to go to bed a little earlier.

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Limit your screen time

Computer screens and mobiles can hinder the production of melatonin – a hormone that helps control your sleep circle. If your body melatonin level is low, this will affect your ability to falling asleep or staying asleep. So put your phones away well in advance before going to bed, and preferably read a book.

Find a bed that suits you

You will be surprised that some people sleep best on harder beds, while others sleep well on softer beds. Of course, you will not perform well enough during training if your body does not feel right after lying on the wrong bed. Your sleep quality depends to a large extent on whether you have a bed that suits you. If you live in a confined space, it can be challenging to find good quality beds for such space. So please spend some time searching for the right bed, it will be a time well spent.

FAQs about Sleep and Exercise

Can sleep increase sex drive?

Men and women who do not get enough quality sleep tends to have low sex drive or less interest for sexual activity (libidos) based on research and studies. To improve your libidos, you need to sleep more.

Can sleep help increase fertility?

According to research, lack of sleep has been linked to difficulty in conceiving baby, in both male and female. Research indicates that lack of regular sleep can lead to a reduction of the secretion of reproductive hormones.