Sleep is the most underestimated training aspect. Most people think of weights, set and reps when you say training aspects. Some would even think of rest, either between sets or between training days. But when we exercise we disturb the body’s system in such a way that your body needs to recover. When done correctly, your body recovers to a higher level of ability than before the training.
Well, the recovery takes place after the exercise. When you rest and replenish your body’s energy levels with nutrition during the rest of the day. Nevertheless a major part of your recovery takes place during your sleep. You can grasp the level of recovery a bit with the realization that all voluntary muscle reactions are inhibited during sleep.
Most systems in the human body will be in the state of restoring the immune, nervous, skeletal, and muscular systems. Your internal clock promotes sleep at night. This is also why the current amount of artificial light in our life can interfere with your sleep cycle or the quality of it. The recommended amount of hours is 7-9 hours for adults, but the specific requirement differs from person to person. That way it is very difficult to recommend a specific number of hours. The best way is actually to go to bed when you feel tired in the evening and try to wake up naturally. That is: without the use of any alarm clock. This is very difficult in the routine during a working week, but you could try this in the weekend. By finding out how many hours of sleep your body seems to need, you can alter the time you go to bed during the week.
For instance in a fat-loss program, sleep is a very important element. Sleep deprivation will interfere with fat-loss, despite any caloric deficit. So it is just as important to sleep enough and well enough as it is to eat properly. The fact that sleep is of great importance, is obviously applicable for all fitness goals you set for yourself.
So just make sure you acquire enough sleep and try to increase the quality of your sleep. Or even try to include a nap of 20-30 minutes during the day, that will improve your rest as well.
What you could do next?
In my ebook “The Essentials of Living Healthy”, I have covered a part on rest and in particular sleep. Download your free copy here. Or you can opt for one of the programmes where we will cover sleep and sleep improvement alongside a training programme.
Start now, not tomorrow.