Why You Need A Good Night’s Sleep
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You know you need to get a good night’s sleep, but do you know why? Would you be surprised to learn that not getting a good night’s sleep is one of the leading factors for weight gain and diseases, like diabetes and heart disease?
Did you know that you cannot catch up on your sleep? Or that you cannot store up or build a reserve of sleep to use another day when you get lousy sleep?
Like anything else, knowledge is power, and it’s important to educate ourselves about some of the reasons why you need to get a good night’s sleep. Check out some of the best reasons to say yes to getting more zzz’s each night.
If You Snooze, You Lose
In fact, sleep deprivation can lead to obesity – that’s right – not getting enough sleep can make you gain weight! Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can cause you to consume more calories throughout the day, typically from high-fat, high-carb foods. So just by simply getting some sleep, you can heighten your ability to lose weight.
Sleep Can Enhance Your Mental State
You may remember your college or high school days when your teacher told you not to pull an all-nighter studying for the exam because you would not retain or really understand the information. Well, that is accurate. Sleep can improve your brain’s ability to process and absorb information. If you absolutely must stay up all night to prepare for something or operate on little to no sleep, some research suggests taking a short nap can help to improve your learning.
Sleep Can Increase Your Level of Awareness
Studies have shown that driving while operating on a lack of sleep can be compared to driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and in some cases, be just as (or more) dangerous.
Muscle Growth & Repair
After a muscle-draining workout or even just a long day of work, your body must shut down, recharge, and repair. There really isn’t any other way to say this – sleep is KEY to building muscle and allowing your muscles to repair themselves.
Less Likely To Become Depressed
Studies have shown that the amount of sleep and the quality of sleep is directly linked to the way you feel throughout the day. People who don’t get optimal levels of sleep often feel lazy and even depressed, resulting in poor performance not only in the gym but in all aspects of their life.
Did you know you burn calories in your sleep? On average, a person will burn around 0.42 calories per pound they weigh per hour of sleep. So for example, someone weighing 175 lb. will burn around 73.5 calories each hour of sleep. When that person gets an optimal night’s rest, they could be burning close to 600 calories by simply lying in bed. These calories burned are vital in your body’s process as they maintain activities throughout the night such as pumping blood, controlling your internal temperature, and cell repair.
Help You Look and Feel Better
Allowing your body appropriate amounts of sleep each night, so that it may go through the processes needed to recharge, has a positive effect on your overall well-being. By getting a good night’s rest, you just feel better overall. Your back might start to ache less or you might be less prone to headaches as the day goes on.
And as far as looking better, if you don’t believe me, just take a look in the mirror the next time you don’t get a good night’s rest. Skin makes new collagen while you’re sleeping, which helps prevent sagging and wrinkling.
Less Time Spent Being Sick
Sleep can help strengthen your immune system and can help to fight off sickness. Studies suggest that people who get less than 7 hours of sleep per night are more likely to catch a common cold versus those who sleep at least 8 hours a night.
Lower Stress Levels
Let’s face it – when you don’t get enough sleep you’re more apt to be cranky, moody, and stressed. If stress is the thing that’s keeping you from getting a good night sleep, try things like a warm bath, lavender oils, deep breathing exercises, and visualizing your entire body becoming relaxed until you fall asleep. It will be more difficult to fall asleep the more stimulated your mind is so it’s a good idea to turn off electronics an hour before bed and limit things such as reading a book on your iPad or scrolling through your Facebook and Instagram feeds right before bed.
Maximize Output with Your Workouts
Though it is largely disregarded, sleep is vital to functioning at optimal capacity. Along with dangerous impacts on various aspects of your health, not getting enough sleep means you will be less focused while doing your workout program, you will most likely not be able to lift as much and ultimately your weight loss goals will be delayed. People who work out in the mornings need a good night’s sleep to maximize their workout. Even if you work out in the afternoon or evening, if you don’t have a good night’s sleep, you may feel sluggish and not be motivated after a long day at work to head to the gym or to complete your home workout program.
So What Can You Do to Get a Good Night’s Sleep?
Now that you know WHY you need to get more sleep, let’s help you figure out HOW to get more sleep. If you’re anything like me and have trouble sleeping or are a light sleeper, keep reading by checking out my top Tips and Tools to Get More Sleep.