The benefits of sleep!
There has been plenty of discussion in the health/fitness industry about the benefits of sleep. We know we need it, but not always why. Today in the WitFit gym near me Springvale blog we will discuss the importance of sleep. The benefits it has on your body and some quick tips/tricks to help you get into a healthier sleep pattern.
What is sleep? Gym near me Springvale
Sleep is a naturally recurring state for the body and mind, in which we shift into altered consciousness (dream land). We then go into a state of paralysis, have decreased sensory awareness and at points our brain is working just as much as when we are awake! For as much as we know what sleep is, we don’t exactly know why we do it. Scientists for the past few decades have tirelessly (pardon the pun) researched this topic however are yet to understand why our body goes into this state. We know we spend about a 3rd of our life in sleep, so obviously it is important. We also know some benefits that happen during sleep and some consequences of not enough, we will now discuss these to help you achieve a deeper understanding!
How much sleep? Gym near me Springvale
5 Reasons sleep is so important! Gym near me Springvale
- Gives our body the chance to recover from day to day life
We all know after a massive day, we are craving a good sleep, and this is a great thing! As during sleep it gives our body time to recover. Our body repairs/renews our tissues and nerves cells, while our natural chemicals in our body can restore to their normal level. In our deep sleep, we have an increased level of growth hormone which helps with repairing muscle tissue! This is awesome for after gym sessions, as it helps us get those extra gains, and all we need to do is fall asleep!
- Poor sleep can increase our chances of putting on weight
People who have poor sleep habits and more likely to be overweight. This has been found through the changes in hormone activity. We have 2 important hormones that affect our eating habits/weight, ghrelin & leptin. Ghrelin is a hormone that stimulates appetite, makes us hungrier. Leptin is the opposite and supresses appetite, makes us less hungry. So when we have less sleep, our body switches these around and we get more ghrelin and less leptin, leading to an increase in caloric uptake. It has been found that with only 5-6 hrs sleep a night there is a 200-300 caloric increase compared to those with 7-9hrs. Over a full year this is an additional 70000(!!) calories.
- Sleep increases performance & decreases rate of injuries:
For athletes it has been found that a bad sleep the night before increases the chance of injury the following day. This can be due to reaction time, an athlete will react slower to a situation that puts them at injury risk. Also as we spoke about before, their body hasn’t had a chance to recover, putting them at risk of overload injuries. Sleep of around 7-9 hours a night has been found to increase sprint time in athletes. Both of these points highlight the importance of sleep.
- Sleep affects us mentally!
So far we have talked about all the physical implications of enough or not enough sleep, however not the mental aspect. Good sleep is linked to improved cognition, reactions times and focus. During sleep we get memory consolidation, where what happened during the day (short-term memory) transfers and consolidates into long term memory. A decrease in sleep is linked with increased rates of depression, as 90% of those with depression report issues with sleep quality. It also found that our social skills are decreased in states of sleep deprivation, with a reduced ability to recognize facial expressions of anger or happiness. Sleep is important for our ability to recognize the social cues and being able to process emotional information.
- Makes us live longer!
Having adequate sleep is linked to an increase in lifespan! This however is on both ends of the spectrum, with under sleep & over sleep. Research has found that under 6 hours of sleep a night is linked with a 12% increase in premature death. This same research also found 9 hours or more sleep a night was linked to a 30% increase in premature death. Showing we have a sweet spot of between 7-9 hours of sleep a night. If we are hitting this, we get all the positive effects we have talked about today, and avoid all the negative ones!
Quick tips on sleeping techniques: Gym near me Springvale
- Have screen free time!
- As technology keeps on growing, the use of phones, tablets, computers etc. in bed has. We all do it, we go to bed and go on one of these devices. Then we wonder why it is hard to get to sleep. What is happening is that these devices emit blue light. Which disrupts and effects the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates our sleep cycle. Therefore before going to bed try have a tech-free time, allowing our natural hormones to let us sleep.
- Have a good sleep environment
- Ensure your room is dark enough; there is limited noise around you or distractions (that phone again!). Make sure that the temperature is good, too hot and your body won’t be able to cool down and recover. Find a temperature that is comfortable for you!
- Create a routine and try stick to it!
- For your body to have good sleep it needs to build up a rhythm, this rhythm has a name, the circadian rhythm. This rhythm is the 24hr background app that is running in your brain changing periods of sleepiness and alertness. In poor sleeping habits this rhythm can be all over the place! Causing alertness when wanting to sleep and drowsiness when wanting to be alert. By setting a regular routine of i.e. sleep at 10 p.m., and awake at 6 a.m. we set a better rhythm. Therefore = easier to sleep and more alert during the day!
Have a look at this quick video on 5 tips to help you fall asleep quicker from Professor Matthew Walker, a neuroscience, psychology and sleep expert!
There is so much information on sleep and we only touched on a small portion of it today. The one takeaway we want you to get from this is that sleep makes up a massive part of health! We always talk about diet/exercise however often neglect sleep. These make up the 3 pillars of health, and if we can work to improving each of these, we are on the right track to making a healthy and powerful lifestyle change!
As always, check out our FaceBook page to find out more about sleep and other areas of health and fitness! If you have any further questions about it, ask us at WitFit gym Springvale!
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