Sleep is like the black sheep of a healthy lifestyle- underrated and largely misunderstood. We all put miles of effort into our clean eating, heavy lifting and deep squatting but when it comes to getting a good nights sleep it gets chucked in the low priority basket, even lower on the list than our washing basket full of sweaty active wear. We think it’s wise to throw you all into the deep end of the pool of knowledge on sleep and teach you about its endless benefits on your health. Read on to find out why sleeping more is the bomb diggity for your health and fitness goals, because any excuse for more time in the sack is a good excuse! (More time SLEEPING in the sack, calm down)
1. Sleep is CRUCIAL for muscle recovery and growth; During the rapid eye movement cycle of sleep, researchers have found that the body has an increased ability to replenish muscle tissue and circulate the human growth hormone. Part of this is due to the lowered amount of energy consumption going on, allowing the nutrient dense foods that you so grudgingly ate during the day (ain’t nobody ACTUALLY enjoys raw kale) to be used for muscle repair and replenishment.
2. Sleep improves mental health; We are all subjected to daily challenges on varying scales, taking on new information and overcoming life’s obstacles. Sleep provides us with some down time and increases mental clarity which can help us deal with this constant influx of new information. Researches have found astounding correlations between mental health disorders and sleep quality. Between 60-90% of depression patients are thought to suffer from insomnia, according to the Harvard mental health newsletter. The same newsletter also concluded that treating the sleep disorder often alleviated symptoms of the mental health problem. Everyone deserves to feel happier and when sleep is the solution, we will happily take an extra hour over Netflix and chilling.
3. Sleep helps you remember important sh*!; Sure, there’s some things you’d rather not remember – like the one time you heard your parents doing ‘it’ on family vacay. But keeping your memory healthy for important stuff like remembering to wear undies is definitely necessary and sleep is here to help you do it! During sleep, an intense period of active restructuring of the brain occurs, imperative to the healthy function of memory. While you sleep, the information that is stored in your short term memory is consolidated to your long term memory, whilst the neural connections that form our memories are also strengthened.
Sleep allows you to focus all of your energy and attention on an important goal. It helps you to retain new information and learn new processes and skills. A sleep deprived person can be unmotivated and this all effects the way we perform at work, in the gym and every aspect of our wellbeing. A goodnight sleep allows your muscles to fully recover and work to their maximum potential whilst energising your mind and body. To avoid muscle fatigue and burnout make sure you get your eight hours, and don’t skimp in the sack!