Sleep: Another Key to Fitness – Part 1

5 Reasons Why You Should Stay OFF the Scale
February 7, 2020
Sleep: Another Key to Fitness – Part 2
February 14, 2020

Exercise, nutrition and sleep make a valuable health circle comprising the three essential elements of fitness.

Most individuals get that nutrition and exercise are vital components to their health and longevity. But rarely does the common person factor in how much sleep and what kind of sleep quality they’re getting when discussing their health and progress.

At Beyond The Box, it’s a staple question we ask our member regularly. In fact we’re running a Sleep & Hydration Challenge right now (more on the hydration in a later post). The importance of ensuring you get enough sleep every night can’t be emphasized enough – we’re asking our members to shoot for 7-9 hours of sleep during the challenge (and in life in general).

But, there are some key questions to ask yourself or anyone who is focused on getting their health right – How much do you think about how well you sleep? How important do you think sleep is to your workout performance? What about your general health?

If you’re like most, you probably don’t think much about how well you sleep ususally. All know they feel better when they sleep more, so you probably want to sleep well and are upset when you don’t sleep as much as you want. But quality sleep is about more then just making sure you get enough time unconscious every night (You COULD get drunk and pass out every night and ensure you still get 9 solid hours of sleep every night, but we’re definitely not recommending that). Good sleep is one of the most important elements of health maintenance, as well as athletic performance and improvement.

Just how much can sleep impact you as an athlete? Consider the following:

  • Researchers conducted a study of over 30 years of National Football League game data and demonstrated that teams that traveled three time zones to play night games experienced disrupted sleep and exercise schedules and were 67 percent more likely to lose even when the point spread was factored in.
  • Studies have shown that athletes who consistently get around 10 hours of sleep per night show marked improvement in strength, speed, agility and reaction time.
  • Athletes who get around 10 hours of sleep demonstrate significantly better muscle memory for movements learned the day before.
  • People who don’t get enough sleep are more prone to diabetes, obesity, hypertension and other various cardiometabolic and endocrine disorders.
  • Researchers have shown that just a few days of little to no sleep impact the body’s insulin sensitivity by more than 25 percent in normal, healthy people. This essentially brings them to a pre-diabetic state—the equivalent of gaining 18 to 30 lb.

Now that we’ve listed the WHYs of getting good sleep regularly, in part 2 of this 2 part series I’ll cover the HOWs to getting better sleep and set yourself up for success!

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