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Should Sleep Be Part of Your Personal Fitness Plan?

Fitness Plan

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over a third of Americans are not getting enough sleep, which is bad for a number of reasons but especially detrimental to people trying to lose weight. It’s right around this time of a year that gyms start to empty out as people give up on their New Year’s Resolutions, frustrated by lack of results despite reasonably good diet and consistent exercise, but there’s another factor that plays into physical fitness. You have to get a good night’s sleep, too. Not doing so could be undoing whatever hard work you’ve already done.

Good Sleep Energizes You

One of the things that keep people from exercising as often as they should is a lack of energy to do so. After a day of getting the kids ready for school, working all day, making dinner and running errands, it can be hard to find the energy to exercise. Studies have shown, however, that better sleep results in more energy for exercise, and one specific study from Stanford University even showed that increasing sleep helped athletes’ speed, accuracy and perceived feelings of well-being. More sleep means more energy, and that’s ideal for exercising.

Sleep Affects Your Metabolism

Surprisingly, a poor night’s sleep also can affect your fat cells. Researchers at the University of Chicago found that after just four consecutive days of poor sleep, your metabolism starts to change and your body no longer properly uses insulin.  This is bad because when insulin is doing its job, fat cells remove fatty acids and lipids from your bloodstream, which is what keeps fat from storing itself in your body. Bad insulin function, which is aided by bad sleep, means your body is going to store more fat. It even can be a factor in a diabetes diagnosis.

Sleep Helps with Muscle Growth

After you’ve spent a good hour of your day lifting weights, you’ve done half of the work toward meaningful muscle growth. The other half is getting the rest necessary for your muscles to repair and rebuild themselves. That is, effectively, why weightlifting works. Muscles are challenged and then repair themselves stronger than before. Sleep is necessary for ensuring that happens, though.

Poor Sleep Makes You Crave Food

Hunger is controlled by two hormones, leptin, and ghrelin, but one study found that sleeping fewer than six hours a night depresses your body’s ability to create these two hormones. In other words, if you’re not sleeping well enough, your body will be physically unable to control its hunger. That, obviously, can cause big problems in terms of physical fitness.

Many of us tell ourselves that there’s no time for a good night’s sleep, but those people working so diligently to improve their physical fitness absolutely need a good night’s sleep. We obviously can help with that here at Ben’s by offering comfortable mattresses for all types of different sleepers, but what you do with those mattresses, as well as what you do in terms of fitness and diet, are entirely up to you.

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