In an article titled Physical Performance and Sleep, the research council reports that better sleep is linked to improved physical performance. That’s because, according to
Dr. Bart Jacobson, poor sleep habits negatively impact coordination, mood, agility and energy. With so many strategies for being your best on game day or at the gym it can be easy to overlook perhaps the simplest one – getting a good night’s sleep.
Benefits of sleep for exercise
- You are more likely to take on higher intensity exercise like weight training or running when you have had a full night of sleep. Although all exercise is beneficial, vigorous exercise can help you build more stamina and burn more calories. High intensity exercise also offers your heart a challenge that promotes healthy function.
- You get a boost that translates to higher jumps, stronger performance, faster sprints and even a better mood while you are working up a sweat.
- Sleep aids in muscle growth and development. That means getting your Zzz’s helps you see the results you are working for.
- Poor sleep impacts your body in much the same way as too much alcohol. You are at higher risk of injuries during your workout if you are sleep deprived.
- Adequate sleep helps you burn more calories and fat. A study cited by Women’s Health notes that rested exercisers burn 20% more calories after a meal than do sleep deprived exercisers.
- A good night’s sleep helps you avoid dehydration by boosting water reabsorption.
Dehydration during exercise can lead to muscle cramping and reduced performance.
- Sleep helps you power through a tough exercise routine by boosting concentration and motivation.
If you have trouble sleeping, take heart. Regular exercise is the perfect antidote to insomnia. The activities are linked. More exercise means better sleep and more sleep means better exercise and ultimately better health outcomes. Here are some tips to help you catch some Zzz’s.
- End screen time at least an hour before you plan to go to bed.
- Take several slow, deep breaths to calm and prepare your body to rest.
- Turn off all sources of light, including those from clocks and electronic devices.
- Be sure the room temperature is comfortable. If you are too hot, sleep will be interrupted.
- Empty your bladder.
- Avoid alcohol in the hours before going to bed.
If you are having trouble sleeping, get up and read or do another restful activity until you feel sleepy. The rest you get tonight can help you be your best in the game or at the gym tomorrow.