“Train. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.” It is a slogan often used on the back of t-shirts or on gym walls. Training, or working out, is important to our overall health, but if we actually look at these 3 words, 2 of them have to do with recovery. We can work out all we want, but if we don’t take care of our nutrition and sleeping seriously, our results aren’t going to come easy, if at all. Although they are both important, I want to take this blog and focus on sleep and its’ importance to not just our workouts, but for our overall health.
So, what is sleep? I mean, I think we all have an idea of what sleep is. But, I am not talking about that “well, I got a couple hours of sleep last night” or “I stayed up super late last night, but I at least got my 5 hours in.” No, I am talking about good sleep. It is defined as being “a condition of body and mind such as that which typically recurs for several hours every night, in which the nervous system is relatively inactive, the eyes closed, the postural muscles relaxed, and consciousness practically suspended.”
We bounce between different stages of sleep, called light sleep, deep sleep, and REM or Rapid Eye Movement sleep. The money is in that deep sleep. During deep sleep, our body is able to process things that happened during the day, begin repairing the body, and helping the body to be refreshed for the upcoming day. If we don’t get the right amount of sleep, our body won’t build muscle. It won’t repair itself. It will leave you feeling drug down, out of energy, and just plain crummy.
The recommended amount of sleep for the average adult is 6+ hours or more. If you aren’t getting enough, try to move things around in your day to allow for that sleep. Put down the phone and turn off the TV an hour before heading to bed, to allow yourself to fall asleep faster. Most importantly, try to be consistent, as that I key to getting the body into rhythm!
So, get out there, train hard, eat well, and sleep good!
By: Ryan McIvor