Sleep, what is it good for? Absolutely everything when it comes to your fitness and nutrition. We find ourselves getting busier than ever and our days seemingly longer and longer without a solution in sight. We feel we can take on more and more task and don’t think what will suffer when we do. Unfortunately, for many of us, these choices negatively affect our sleeping patterns and the affects are noticeable.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Any of you with children, jobs, and responsibilities out there are laughing as you read this. You’re not alone folks, I also find it difficult to get 7+ hours in a night. For those that get these hours, way to go, but for those that are not, this might help get you some extra sleep every night.
So how does sleep deprivation affect you?
- Increased caffeine consumption
- Increased sugar cravings
- Dehydration in the body
- Lowers immune system
- Takes longer to recover from workouts
Studies have showed that adults that don’t sleep enough are more common to eat more due to their leptin levels fall (leptin is a hormone that regulates hunger) When leptin levels DECREASE your appetite INCREASES. This also helps show that obesity and sleep patterns go hand and hand. You ever find yourself walking over to the refrigerator at night instead of bed? I have and this is why.
CrossFit workouts are not easy, especially if you’re showing up 3-5 days a week. Your body recovers when it sleeps and if your waking up sore more often than not, than chances are you need more rest. We are in constant contact with countless germs and bacteria that resting will help fend off illnesses by building a stronger immune system. Not to mention flu season just started, which gives you more of a reason to rest more
But Coach what can I do to fall asleep earlier? I can’t fall asleep before X time coach? I have heard so many people say that to me and I get it, we all have patterns we created over time. But just like those you have created, you can break and make new ones. Here are a few suggestions:
- EAT BETTER
- Drink more water, at lest 80 ounces per day
- Minimize water intake by 6 pm (so you do not wake up when asleep)
- Drink caffeine earlier in the day
- Cut down daily caffeine consumption
- Cut off all electronics at LEAST 1-hour before bed
- Read before bed
- Have dinner earlier so you won’t go to bed full (heartburn issues)
- Workout more often or find a stress reliever at night
- Workout earlier in the day
These changes don’t happen over night and never happen if you don’t try to change your habits. If you’re happy being a zombie, angry at the world guy/gal or eating junk you normally don’t eat than do nothing.
But if any of this resonates something inside of you, give it a shot. What’s the worst that can happen, you get more sleep!