Did you know that if you are sleep-deprived reaching your fitness goals will be even more challenging? That it can impact your metabolism and food choices? Here are some reasons to prioritize sleep to reach your goals.
You are more likely to overeat
There are significant changes in your hormones when you don't get enough sleep. Your body produces more ghrelin (signals your brain that you are hungry) and less leptin (decreases your appetite). This makes you feel more hungry so you are more likely to overeat. A lack of sleep also increases your level of cortisol, a stress hormone. An increase in cortisol also increases your appetite.
You are sabotaging your workout
If you didn't get a good night's sleep you are less likely to have the energy to get your workout in. If you workout anyway, your performance suffers so your workout is less effective. Sleep plays a role in protein synthesis so it's really challenging to build muscle when you're consistently missing out on your 7 hours. If you have less energy, you are likely to increase sedentary behavior - not just during your workout. Less movement during the day = less calories burned so you're throwing off your energy balance. Check out this post to learn more about energy balance.
Your metabolism is less effective
On top of not being as active and more chances that you'll overeat, your ability to metabolize glucose (found in carbohydrates) is impacted. Glucose that doesn't get metabolized and used for energy is stored in your body as fat.
Your mental health suffers
There is research that links insomnia to several mental health disorders including anxiety, bipolar disorder, and depression. Also, a lack of sleep can impact how you perceive the world around you and can inhibit your ability to regulate your emotions.
You have an increased risk for disease
Due to lack of sleep affecting your ability to metabolize carbs, your risk for diabetes is increased. Lack of sleep can also increase your blood pressure and increase your risk for heart disease. And if you're exposed to any illness, your immune system will need you to get enough sleep so that it can function properly and keep you as healthy as possible.
With that being said, get your 7 hours in!
Here are some tips for having good sleep hygiene:
Develop a nightly routine to get ready for bed
Give yourself the best environment for sleeping - make sure it's dark, lower the temperature
Avoid caffeine late in the day
Practice meditation, deep breathing, or mindfulness exercises to relax
Exercise regularly - some people get energized from exercising, so if that's you then workout earlier in the day
Try to go to bed and wake up around the same time every day