Why do you need to improve your sleep quality when starting your fitness journey?

Baby Oscar and Julie taking a nap

06/10/2020

Why sleep is important 

We spend up to a third of our time doing it, so it must be important, right? The answer is a resounding YES!. Without enough sleep, our brain and body just wouldn’t be able to operate properly, and could lead to serious health risks, complications and disorders. I have found that sleep has become such a vital function that has enabled my mind and body to recharge and refresh. Overall well-being felt better once I implemented a better sleep routine and became consistent with it.

 

Sleep and Fitness… What’s the connection?

Sleep and fitness are a powerful duo; they compliment each other very well. Sleep allows the body to recover, reset and repair after workouts. Quality sleep helps you actively exercise better, morning workouts, for example, can become more energetic and efficient. Sleep deprivation is likely to affect performance, concentrating and overall fitness; however, exercise and fitness can help combat sleep deprivation by stimulating the body’s circadian rhythm activating the sleep hormones at night. 

    Baby Oscar and Julie sleeping

    Sleep hours and tips

    7 – 9 hours of sleep per night seems to work well for most, easier said than done for the modern-day woman! I tend to aim for 7-8 hours, its not been easy, but planning and consistency have helped me a lot. Here are some of my sleep tips:

    • Make sure room is quiet and dark at bedtime.
    • Try to avoid using electronic devices (mobile phones, laptops, pads, tablets) before going to bed.
    • Create a bedtime routine or ritual to unwind before bed (yoga, guided meditation, breathing exercises, read a book)
    • Try to sleep at the same time every night
    • Avoid stimulants like caffeine in the evening.

    Julie working out, pulling sled

    My Top 8 Benefits of Sleep:

    • Lowers cortisol levels and reduces stress
    • Regulates metabolism
    • Can aid weight loss
    • Boost muscle recovery
    • Strengthens immune system
    • Enhance and Improve physical activity capabilities
    • Can help balance hormone levels
    • Improve mental health

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