By Team MostFit Master Trainer Helya Glen, owner of The Studio in Ventura CA
How did your date go last night with your bed? Ha ha!
Ok, but in all reality, we really underestimate the power of a good night’s rest. You’re getting this email because you are probably health conscious as you are a reader of Mostfit's Blog. Most likely you eat healthy and you exercise, but you also work too many hours and have real easy access to that caffeine, whether it comes in coffee, Red Bull, Coke or some other form of sugar.
Your diet and exercise being clean and challenging is wonderful and it will absolutely give you results. However, did you know that your body not only recovers with protein, but with good sleep too? And I’m not talking about drunk sleep, I’m talking about the four phases of really good sleep.
This is a generalization of the four stages, but here we go…
In Stage 1 you fall asleep naturally and if you skip this, you wake up foggy, dazed, lethargic and confused (drunk sleep).
In Stage 2 your body is rebuilding all those muscles you tore apart in your workout.
In Stage 3 your body gets deep into digestion
and in Stage 4, you hit REM. The deep stages of sleep in the REM cycle are when you actually sort through thoughts and reset. It has been said that when people don’t remember their dreams, they are most likely skipping their REM cycle. Skipping REM has also been connected to a number of pretty serious mental health issues. Yikes!
Hormones also play a huge role in sleep and when deprived, this is what directly affects your results in the gym. Sleep deprivation in men, for example, pushes up cortisol levels. Higher levels of cortisol means slow muscle regeneration. Hello, no gains! In women, sleep deprivation equals slower metabolism and more cravings for sugar and carbs. The obvious for both sexes is that lack of sleep makes you a grumpier, less fun, non-productive person! It also makes it harder to do regular tasks, like driving. Did you know that a sleep-deprived person has the same reaction time as someone who has had 4 alcoholic drinks? Crazy!
As you can see, sleep is important for a number of reasons and it really doesn’t get enough attention. Not getting enough sleep is like missing your iPhone charger when you’re on a trip, eventually your phone will die and you’re left stranded because you didn’t memorize anyone’s phone number. Ok, maybe not that extreme, but you’ll definitely be grumpy with dark circles under your eyes. So make a date with your pillow, it’s worth it!