Sleep and Fitness - Why Sleep Is Important For Health and Fitness

Sleep and Fitness - Why Sleep Is Important For Health and Fitness

May 07, 2020

Sleep and Fitness - Why Sleep Is Important For Health and Fitness - Tips For Better Sleep

Sleep is an activity that many may not give much thought to unless experiencing sleep difficulties. Even then, the connection between good health and proper sleep may not be recognized. However, getting adequate sleep is crucial for overall health. Unfortunately, 70% of American adults report getting insufficient sleep at least one night a month, and 11% report getting insufficient sleep every night. Regrettably, this trend toward poor sleep is not improving but growing worse. So much so that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has labeled this crisis an epidemic.

Why is a good night's rest so crucial for our health? Well, it is not a single night of restful sleep that is needed, but consistent good sleep habits. During sleep, multiple biological processes take place. Cells throughout the body are being repaired and reorganized. The body is releasing hormones and proteins that regulate different bodily functions. And the brain is storing new information. A lot is going on while you are asleep! No wonder it's so important to get it right.

All these processes are necessary for your body and mind to function properly. When you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you hinder the ability of these processes to work. Not reaching the deep sleep phase, when much of this activity is occurring, or awakening during this phase of sleep can leave you tired, unable to function properly, and set the stage for several negative health impacts.

Problems Caused by Insufficient Sleep

Suffering from insufficient sleep can lead to a myriad of physical and emotional health complications, some of which are indicated below.

  • Physical health: heart disease, stroke, obesity, weakened immune function, increased risk of type 2 diabetes, increased inflammation, high blood pressure, weight gain
  • Emotional health: depression, anxiety, impaired social interaction

In addition to the issues mentioned above, an impaired performance due to poor sleep habits contributes to work accidents, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 795 persons were killed in 2017 due to drowsy driving.

Mdrive Sleep and Fitness - Why Sleep Is Important For Health and Fitness

Fitness Benefits of Sleep

Hopefully, it is now evident that developing good sleep habits is vital to reducing your risk for the problems indicated above. The main thing you should know is that getting adequate rest is a simple thing you can do to help yourself feel better, look better, perform better, and be better. Getting the right amount and the right kind of sleep can help you to:

  • Be less susceptible to illness
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Improve your mood
  • Think more clearly
  • Make better decisions
  • Get along better with people

If you are having trouble sleeping or need to relax, try Mdrive Relax today!

Tips for getting better sleep for fitness

Some people are not 'good sleepers,' whether due to a sleep disorder or a hectic lifestyle. So, how can you improve your sleep habits? If you think you may have a sleep disorder, contact a professional to investigate the possibility. Also, you may have to change some of your habits. Some practices we have can interfere with proper sleep, others facilitate rest. Below is a list of 'do's' and 'don'ts' when it comes to getting a good night's sleep.

Things To Do For Sleep and Fitness

  • Exercise – Exercising regularly can help you to fall asleep faster and improve sleep quality.
  • Assess your room – Make sure your bedroom is conducive to sleep in terms of temperature, noise, and free of distracting light.
  • Change your surroundings – If you have trouble sleeping, sometimes it can help to go to another room.
  • Have a consistent sleep schedule – Going to sleep and waking up at the same time daily can help to regulate your rhythms, allowing you to experience more restful sleep.
  • Try meditation – Practicing meditation can simulate the early stages of sleep, helping you to fall asleep more easily.
  • Listen to music – Listening to relaxing music can also help you to fall asleep faster because of the calming effects it has on the body.
  • Take a bath – Taking a bath can help to lower your body temperature, which is a necessary preparation for sleep.

Things To Not Do For Sleep and Fitness

  • Nap – Taking a nap during the day can increase your wakefulness at nighttime.
  • Drink alcohol or use caffeine before bed – Alcohol can decrease sleep quality by lulling you to sleep only to wake you up later in the night. Caffeine can make it hard for you to fall asleep.
  • Work in bed – Bringing your work to bed can cause you to develop insomnia and back problems.
  • Use electronics – The light emanating from electronic devices, such as TVs, phones, and laptops, promote wakefulness.

Mdrive Sleep and Fitness - Why Sleep Is Important For Health and Fitness

There are many things you can do to foster overall well-being, such as healthy eating, exercising, taking supplements, and attending to your mental health. Another thing you can do is to improve the sleep you are getting daily. This one change will enhance the other efforts you are making towards optimal health.

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