Whether you’ve pulled all-nighters for work or play, or ever found it difficult to fall asleep before a big day, you’re probably familiar with the feeling of being sleep deprived.
While the ideal amount of sleep varies from person to person, most experts and health authorities recommend that adults get between seven-and-a-half and nine hours of sleep per night to function optimally through the day. Skating by on anything less not only leaves you feeling sluggish and unproductive through the day, but also increases your risk of diabetes and even heart disease, not to mention weight gain and muscle loss.
Muscle development and recovery
Getting enough sleep is especially important for people who want to build up their fitness levels. The body needs rest to recover from the activities of the day, but rest is especially crucial after a workout and intense exercise, because this gives the body a chance to recover.
A lack of sleep slows down the production of growth hormones in the body, weakening your ability to repair damaged tissues and develop muscle. If you spend loads of time working out but aren’t seeing the results you want, it might be time to re-evaluate your current habits to develop a healthier attitude towards sleep.
Our friend TomTom says try taking these smarts steps that will help you make constructive change to your sleep patterns and start getting a better night’s sleep:
- Avoid eating a large meal within an hour before bedtime – It will take you longer to fall asleep on a full stomach because your body needs time to digest the food before you’ll feel comfortable enough to fall asleep.
- Switch off the lights before climbing into bed – Light-emitting technology has a disruptive effect on sleep, keeping you alert and awake and preventing the production of melatonin, which helps you become sleepy. Choose a good book and opt for some light reading before bedtime instead.
- Use sleep-tracking technology to make a positive change – Sleep-tracking will provide you with useful insight into your sleeping patterns and what you can do to change these. Fitness trackers not only serve as workout companion, but can also monitor how well you’re sleeping at night, and how long it takes you to fall asleep.
- Meditate – This is a great way to slow down your heart rate, clear your thoughts and prepare the body for rest. Meditation is also helpful in becoming more mindful of your body’s natural rhythms and developing a positive relationship with relaxation and sleep.
Source: TomTom. Images: Pixabay