Why Getting Enough Sleep is Crucial for Reaching Your Fitness Goals

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Why getting enough sleep is crucial for reaching your fitness goals

Did you know that more than 40% of Australians don’t feel rested and consequently struggle to perform due to a lack of sleep?[1] We love our sleep, and appreciate how important it is for making sure you can train your hardest in your sessions and recover properly.

In Australia, we sleep for an average of seven hours a night[2]. Only 8% of us are lucky to get more than nine hours, while around 12% of us get less than five and a half hours.

For this reason, sleep needs to be taken seriously and seen as a vital part of any health and fitness routine. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why sleep is so crucial for feeling, looking and being your best.

It’s the optimal time for your muscles to grow

The human growth hormone is released when we’re sleeping, meaning this is the time for our muscles to regenerate, our skin to repair and our organs to catch a much-needed break. For men, 60% to 70% of the human growth hormone is released in the early stages of sleep (which is also typically when we’re sleeping most deeply)[3]. Achieving quality sleep of an appropriate length is a sure-fire way to give your muscles and brain all the chances they need to improve and renew - meaning you’ll wake up stronger in the morning!

It could boost the amount of fat you’re burning

When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies start to slow down our metabolisms so that we burn calories at a slower rate to preserve energy. Basically, the body thinks that because we’re staying awake for an extended period of time, we need to preserve every single one of the calories we’re eating.

In one study, a group of people slept for eight and a half hours a night, and another group of people slept for five and a half hours a night[4]. Both groups of people ate 1,450 calories per day. However, at the end of the week, for the group of people that slept more, their weight loss was about half fat, whereas for the group that slept less, weight loss was about a quarter fat.

This illustrates how important it is to make sure you’re getting enough sleep so that your body is able to efficiently and effectively burn calories.

It recharges your brain (meaning you can train harder)

Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that produces ATP[5]. ATP is a molecule that stores the energy the body needs to power the biochemical reactions inside our cells. When we’re awake, the levels of adenosine increase in our brain. This has been shown to decrease alertness and give us the feeling that our brain is tired and that we can’t focus. When we get enough sleep, our adenosine levels decrease, meaning that we wake up feeling well-rested and ready to tackle the day.

Having on-point brain function has obvious implications for the way we train. If you’re getting enough sleep, you’ll wake up feeling alert, more motivated and full of energy.

For more tips when it comes to leading your healthiest and happiest life, visit our blog.

[1] SMH

[2] SMH

[3] Australian Fitness Academy

[4] Psychology Today

[5] Australian Fitness Academy

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Fitstop Australia

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