Between work, school, a social life, and of course exercise, we often forget to prioritize one of the most important aspects of our health: SLEEP. It’s easy to overlook the need for routine sleep with such busy schedules. The problem with putting sleep on the backburner is that it is essential in performing all of the important tasks in our lives. We all need sleep in order to reset our bodies to function at full capacity for the next day.
Have you ever wondered why even though you have been exercising regularly you just can’t seem to get to that body composition goal? There has been evidence to suggest that sleep deprivation can lead to obesity. An article in Time magazine, “Poor Sleep Gives You the Munchies” discusses a study done by the journal, SLEEP. In the study, they found that sleep deprivation could lead to higher levels of endocannabinoid, which is a chemical that makes you hungry in the middle of the night.
Sleep deprivation can also hurt muscle mass growth. A lack of sleep can lead to a reduction of testosterone and decreased levels of protein synthesis. So whether or not you are trying to lose weight or increase muscle mass, adequate sleep plays a key role in performance.
So how much sleep do we really need? According to research, the average adult needs about 7.5 to 8 hours of sleep per night. In an interview with Andre Iguodala of the Golden State Warriors, he not only stated he gets at least 8 hours of sleep, but also he commented on his new key to success:
“I’d wake up on game day in the morning to practice, and I started noticing better shootarounds. My teammates are like, ‘Man, you’re making some shots today,’ and I’m thinking to myself, ‘They have no idea I’ve been going to sleep!’ I start getting confident. It’s 9 or 10 in the morning, but I know I’m going to have an amazing game tonight. Sleep good, feel good, play good.”
In conclusion, getting enough sleep is one of the most important but overlooked aspects regarding a healthy lifestyle. If only we had a few more hours at night, imagine what we could accomplish.
Here are some tips for getting to bed earlier:
- No screens (TV, phone, computer) at least 30 minutes before bed.
- Sleepytime teas with lavender.
- Take a warm shower before bed every night.
- Have an actual set of clothes specifically for sleeping in. Mentally prepare yourself for getting the rest you deserve.
Learn more about Coach Nathan here!
"Adult Sleep Needs at Every Age: From Young Adults to the Elderly." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 02 Sept. 2016.
Bromwich, Jonah. "Poor Sleep Gives You the Munchies, Study Says." The New York Times. The New York Times, 04 Mar. 2016. Web. 02 Sept. 2016.
Dattilo M. "Result Filters." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 02 Sept. 2016.
Spies-Gans, Juliet. "Andre Iguodala Attributes Strong Play To Better Sleep Cycles." Huffington Post. Huffington Post, 10 June 2015. Web. 2 Sept. 2016.
*The image used is from Andre Iguodala's instagram, @andre.