Getting your beauty rest is important not only for you looks, but for everything else! Your mood, your health, your body, your emotions…all are affected by how much sleep you get! So I want to share some important information about why it is so important to get good sleep, especially if you are a competitor/athlete.
Research shows that sleep deprivation can…
- slow glucose (main source of energy) deprivation by 30-40% which can impair athletic endurance and recovery
- increase stress hormone cortisol levels which are linked to memory impairment and may impair tissue repair and growth. Also, excessive cortisol levels can interfere with the production of serotonin. As a result, we may feel depressed and hungry, even right after eating!
- increase likelihood of poor heart functioning. A study conducted at the University of British Columbia suggests that people who sleep less than 5 hours per night are 39% more likely to develop heart disease than those who register a full seven to eight hours per night.
- affect BMI. A new study in the journal Sleep Breath looked at the sleep habits of a large group of over 20,000 participants. Participants who had radically varied sleep patterns, sleeping for a few hours some nights and more than 8 hours other nights, had the greatest increase in body mass index over the 3-year study period. Participants who got the same amount of sleep every night, generally at least 6.5 hours, had the least increase in body mass index.
How much sleep should I be getting? The amount of sleep each person needs depends on many factors, including age. Infants generally require about 16 hours a day, while teenagers need about 9 hours on average. For most adults, 7 to 8 hours a night appears to be the best amount of sleep, although some people may need as few as 5 hours or as many as 10 hours of sleep each day.
Tips to a better night of sleep: cut caffeine down, don’t nap throughout the day, keep bed times consistent, consider supplementing with melatonin, avoid working out 2 hours before bed time, and cover all lights in your bedroom.
Conclusion: Proper sleep is key for optimal performance. So go to bed folks!