Why Adequate Sleep Is So Important If You're Trying To Tone Up

Not getting the results you want? It's time to hit the sack.

You probably know by now that sleep is important. Very important. It affects all sorts of different things including our mood, hunger, hormones, immunity… and the list goes on. But did you know it also has the ability to impact the way your body responds to fitness? If you’re not getting the results you want in the gym, you might want to divert your attention away from what’s on your plate or the exercise program you’re following and look closely at the quality of your sleep. Seriously—that’s actually the (scientific) solution. Here’s why.

Sleep preserves your muscle tone

As published in academic journal, Sleep, stress hormone cortisol increases 37% after just one nights sleep loss—and subsequently, your body is more likely to use your (hard earned) muscles as an energy source. Further, scientists have found deep sleep enhances synthesis of Growth Hormone, fundamental to lean muscle maintenance.

Image: iStock

Sleep regulates your hunger

Notice how after a sh*t sleep the next day you can’t keep your hands out of the bread basket? Scientifically—there’s a reason! Studies show the hormone to increase hunger (ghrelin) rises 18%; whereas leptin, the hormone which tells you to stop eating, decreases by 28%. These researchers also found cravings for sugary carbohydrates increased up to 45%. Any single one of those elements impairs our training results—but together?! Eeeeek.

sleep in
Image: iStock

Sleep plays with your mood (which impacts everything)

With studies showing insomniacs are 9.8% and 17.3% more likely to experience depression and anxiety disorders respectively—sleep clearly directs emotions. Researchers found when we are feeling depressed, we are less likely to exercise and eat healthily, and more likely to smoke, take drugs and binge drink—derailing our good intentions the following day too, when find ourselves knee deep in Netflix and Uber Eats.
Need help sleeping? Sign up for my free 21 Days of Sleep Tips Series, highlighting a sample of the physiological, psychological and nutritional changes you can make to improve your sleep tonight, and energy levels tomorrow. Or, email me at [email protected] to find out more about my program, The Sleep Solution, and how it can transform your sleep, and restore you to your best self, inside and out.

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