How Important Is Enough Sleep?

I often see cases where people are eating better and exercising their butts off, but still not really seeing much in the way of results from their efforts.  Perhaps the scale isn’t moving as quickly as they’d like it to, if at all, or maybe they are losing energy instead of gaining more.  There’s usually one of two reasons for this… getting enough calories and getting enough sleep.  We’ll talk about the calories another time (because, yes, it is possible to eat too few calories for weight loss as well).   For this blog, I want to hit on getting enough SLEEP!

It seems like, nowadays, we are more willing to cut sleep out of our day than anything else.  We’d rather sacrifice sleep to watch our favorite show, play video games, or any other reason that people are constantly not getting enough sleep.  “But, I’m FINE with only 4-5 hours of sleep.  That’s all I need!”  Is it, really?  Even though you may feel fine, there are many things that can happen to your body when you don’t get enough sleep.  You see, whether you feel it or not, you are putting your body into a state of stress when it doesn’t get enough rest.  In fact, you just may be used to feeling like you do assuming that that’s “just how it is” and not even realize that you could feel better.

What are some of the things that chronic sleep deprivation can cause (source: WedMD):

So, if you aren’t getting the results that you want from your exercise and nutrition regime, it’s perhaps time to start taking your sleep patterns more seriously… IF you want to make changes in your health.  Sleep is essential for your body to rest and your muscles to re-build.  If you are working out and not getting enough rest, chances are that you are more sore all of the time, and you are more likely to get injured because you aren’t letting your muscles rest and rebuild properly… thus, creating even more stress on your body (both physically and mentally).

So, if you are someone who regularly only gets 4-5 hours of sleep, it’s time to start adding some more hours into there and work your way up to 7-8 hours of sleep so that your body will start to function as it’s peak abilities!  If you believe you struggle with sleep apnea, or anything else that can disrupt your sleep, please consider seeing a doctor to work on your sleeping patterns.  Wishing you health and plenty of rest!

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