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Importance of Sleep

Sleep is a crucial part of your success with your fitness and transformation results.  We workout hard, eat right, and do everything we can during the day to become fitter, healthier people.  If we don’t get enough sleep at night all that hard work we put into our fitness isn’t completely utilized.  In fact, if your trying to add muscle mass, or get more defined then you have to SLEEP!

Why is Sleep So Important?

It doesn’t matter who you talk to, coaches, bodybuilders, trainers, professional athletes, fitness experts, etc…they all will tell you how important it is to get adequate sleep after you train.  Sleep is crucial because it does one thing…RECOVER.  You see, even if you are extreme P90Xer, or an Insane cardio junkie that pushes yourself to the limits each and every workout all that hard work won’t mean anything unless your body is able to recover.  During our workouts we break down muscle tissue so it can be repaired, making the muscle denser or bigger and stronger.  Sleep can restore our body by promoting muscle growth, tissue repair, protein synthesis, and the release of growth hormones.  This occurs ONLY during sleep.  Sleep is as essential as breathing and eating.

So if your going through P90X, Insanity, TurboFire, or any other fitness program, you have to get your sleep!

Are You Sleep Deprived?

If you think your not getting enough sleep then chances are, you are right.  It is estimated that 50-70 million people in the U.S. don’t get enough sleep every night.  Here are some signs, courtesy of Karen Tonnis at Beachbody that you aren’t getting enough sleep

- Hitting the snooze button consistently on your alarm clock

- Yawning uncontrollably and at inappropriate times (e.g., workplace meetings, parent-teacher conferences)

- Feeling sluggish in the afternoon

- Getting drowsy while driving

- Having heavy eyelids and watery eyes

- Experiencing memory lapses

- Experiencing irritability and low energy

- Feeling excessive hungriness or a complete lack of appetite

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

Studies have shown that the average person should get 6-8 hours of sleep each night.  If you are doing an extreme fitness program like P90X then you should aim for 7-9 hours.

Sleeping Tips

- Avoid Caffeine in the afternoon.  From 4 to 6 hours before bedtime, avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and other chemicals that interfere with sleep.  Or just avoid them all together.

-  Stay on schedule.  Getting to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning helps.  Keep a regular sleep habit.  You won’t even need your alarm clock.

-  Keep exercising.  Exercise can help you fall asleep faster and make your sleep more restful.  I sleep like a baby now that I am in better shape…funny how that works.

-  Try to avoid long daytime naps.  Sleep is meant for night time.  Short naps are great for recharging and catching up on missed sleep but to many long naps can interfere with your regular sleep schedule.

-  Avoid late night electronics.  TV’s, iPads, Cell phones, lap tops all hurt sleep cycles.  They keep you up late and keep your mind active.  ease into sleep by creating a relaxing routine before bed.

If your looking for great results with P90X, Insanity or TurboFire then you have to get your sleep.  If your working out hard during the day and eating right then you must get enough sleep to get the most out of your workouts and nutrition.  It is the other major key to success with these programs.  If your going through these programs and still not seeing great results then it could be your lack of sleep.  Your body needs time to recovery and repair, give it the time it deserves.

How much Sleep do you get each night?  Do you need to try to get more?