Is sleep that important?
The answer is yes. Haven’t we all had a day where we didn’t sleep well the night before and it seemed to affect everything negatively that day? Sleep deprival can cause cardiac issues, digestive problems, mood swings, behavioral issues, and even increases chances of accidents or injuries. Sleep plays a vital role in our bodies via our nervous system. By not getting enough sleep, our bodies cannot perform normal needed tasks at an efficient rate. Deep sleep can help regenerate our bodies’ cells and promote new cell growth. This can help or hinder everything from emotional stress and social functions to weight loss and fitness goals.
There are 5 stages of sleep. 1 is a light sleep. 2, 3 and 4 get progressively deeper and the deepest is called REM (Rapid-Eye-Movement). Most dreams occur during REM sleep when rest is deepest. REM sleep will allow the body to regenerate and repair itself. This is also why most of us sleep more when we are sick. For everyday, 7-8 hours of sleep is required for to feel the most restful, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
A guide to better sleep
- Relax before bed and turn off electronics that stimulate the eyes
- Avoid caffeine 4 hours before bedtime
- Do a relaxing activity before bed such as deep breathing or meditation
- Eat foods rich in Tryptophan like bananas, pumpkin/sunflower seeds or legumes
- Regular exercise, this is probably the most important
At Welligee, our trainers have trained clients with sleep problems, which have hindered their ability to effectively exercise and reach their weight loss goals. For those that have been able to improve their sleep habits, they have in turn seen better health results through a better night’s sleep. They now have better workouts and seem to have less chronic pain in the long run.
There are countless reasons to get a good night’s sleep. Do your body a favor and go to bed early tonight, you might find a better tomorrow.
Jon Janeway B.S Exercise Science NSCA-CPT
Owner, Welligee Personal Training & Lifestyle