Don’t forget to sleep
By our trainer Eddy
The Gym, in my eyes, is an extraordinary and fascinating place to work at, especially due to the variety of people you meet every day. A typical workday consists of engaging in interesting conversations with all kinds of people and debating topics that are related to fitness and health. Next to showing interest in different exercising methods for achieving different goals, many people tend to talk about nutrition and sometimes we have interesting discussions about the amounts of protein intake that is needed for muscle growth.
Although personalized training programs are necessary for achieving particular goals and proper nutrition is essential for general health, there is one thing that I realize many people forget to consider when they think about health and well-being: the importance of sleep. Not only people sometimes neglect this part of the puzzle, some of them even mention to me how little they sleep every night (Oh dear).
Now, let’s go over some interesting information: According to results of a world-class study that was released in 2015 by “The National Sleep Foundation”, the recommended sleep range for people who are at the age of 18– 25is7– 9hours per night. The same amount of sleep is recommended for people who are at the age of 26 – 64and for people over 65 the recommended amount is 7– 8hours. Although the necessary amount of sleep varies between different ages, it’s important to understand that this amount also varies from person to person. Therefore, you should try and see how you feel after experimenting between the hour ranges recommended above. For instance, you could ask yourself if you feel happy, energetic, productive etc. after 7 hours of sleep or maybe you will actually feel better after 8 or 9. Only you can tell.
For more information go to https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need
Next, I would like to mention some health benefits of proper sleep. According to “The National Sleep Foundation” people might think that while sleeping the mind and body are “shut down” but actually, during sleep, a lot of essential functions are happening in our bodies. Those functions include building-up and strengthening memory, body restoration, synthesizing hormones and more. In addition, Due to lack of sufficient sleep our bodies will produce less cytokines (a protein that targets infection and inflammation) and therefore it will affect our immune system. It’s also said that sleep is necessary for recovering from strength training and that it helps repairing muscle after a demanding workout session. On the contrary, a lack of sleep can prevent our bodies from building maximum muscle strength.
For more information go to https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/why-do-we-need-sleep
After establishing the amount of sleep needed and explaining why it’s so important, for those of you who are reading this and thinking “mmm...this guy might have a good point” I would like to suggest some ideas for how to change some bad sleeping habits:
1. If you feel like the quality of your sleep is bad, and you are not exercising on a regular basis, try to exercise more. Moderate aerobic exercise (at least 30 minutes) increases the amount of deep sleep you get. Although many studies focus on the benefits of aerobic activity for sleep, it’s said that power lifting or an active yoga class for example can also lead to a better quality of sleep. The timing of exercise could also matter since for certain people, exercising near bedtime could actually keep them up at night. On the other hand, for other people the timing wouldn’t matter. Bottom line, it’s about trial and error and listening to your body.
For more information go to https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/exercising-for-better-sleep
2. If you feel like you need more hours of sleep try to take a moment, plan your time and reset your priorities. Maybe don’t watch that episode of “friends” tonight and save it for the weekend. Not implying anything (:
3. Certain studies indicate that consuming caffeine near bedtime (up to 6 hours prior to your bedtime) could cause sleep disruption. So, for those of you who love coffee and other caffeinated drinks, I hear you, but it might be a smart idea to try and avoid drinking them during the evening time.
For more information go to https://www.coffeeandhealth.org/topic-overview/caffeine-and-sleep/