Four Reasons Why Sleep Will Pump You Up

People generally agree that Fitness boils down to two major factors, exercise/training and diet.  How you manage them will determine your results.  Right? 

Not so fast. 

Studies show getting the proper amount of sleep has a huge impact on physical performance.  Here are four reasons why getting the appropriate number of zzz's is critical to optimizing your workout regimen.  

RECOVERY – Muscles need more rest when they’re under stress.   Sleep helps your body produce cortisol, a hormone assists protein synthesis.  This helps give us energy and builds more muscle.  According to Esther Chang, MD of Loyola University, “When you have sleep debt, your muscles tend to atrophy.” 

MENTAL FOCUS – Just like how rest helps people focus on a test, sleep also helps us focus on physical activity.  Studies prove sleep-deprivation reduces our ability to perform tasks that require concentration.  This is particularly true for activity that requires fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination.   

REACTION TIME – In a study conducted Stanford University’s basketball team, players were required to sleep 10 hours each night.  The result?  Players increased shooting accuracy by 9% and they shaved 5% off their sprint time.  Precious seconds to help beat your competition.  “Peak performance can only occur when an athlete’s overall sleep and sleep habits are optimal.” the study said.

BURN CALORIES – Sleeping helps people lose weight.  Yes - that's right.  It sounds counterintuitive, but studies show sleeplessness can increase ghrelin levels.  Ghrelin is the hormone responsible for stimulating our appetite.  Furthermore, when you’re sleeping, you’re not eating.  Sleep has been recommended by doctors as an effective means to lose weight. 

If getting that extra sleep proves difficult because you’re not feeling tired, try giving your sleep cycle a kick-start with a supplement like melatonin, magnesium or GABA.  And if you don’t like taking pills, try Sleepyhead, an all-natural, gluten free drink which contains all these supplements and more to help you fall asleep quickly, sleep soundly and wake up feeling refreshed. 

So go ahead and relax.  Kick your feet up and get some sleep.  It’s good for you!