Guest Post by Krista Harper

Most people think that working out is all about the physical activity; i.e. the aerobics and weightlifting. However, there is more to it. Some aspects such as rest are often overlooked in over of the more physical aspects. Studies have shown that there is quite the correlation between an activity such as one’s endurance when running and sleep deprivation. Similarly, when people don’t have enough sleep at night, it will show when they are in the gym in the morning. This is how sleep impacts your workout!

Preventing Injuries

When working out, injuries are one of the risks we have to put up with. However, this does not mean that we cannot significantly eliminate the chance of getting an injury when exercising. When we sleep, the body takes the opportunity to recover from the day’s stress and damage. This means that if we have been having intense workout sessions, sleep helps repair any damage that might have been incurred during this time.

During the first couple of hours of deep sleep, the pituitary gland in the brain releases a hormone called Human growth hormone (HGH or GH). This is the hormone that’s responsible for growth during childhood and youth, but also crucial for tissue repair in adults. Doctors recommend various minimum amounts of sleep for various age groups. As such, without proper sleep, we tend to be more prone to injury since our bodies haven’t recovered as they should.

Helping with Reaction Speeds and Accuracy

Sleep is an essential tool in helping your brain to relax and recover. When we ignore the need for sleep, our cognitive functions are highly impaired. In the short term, the cognitive functions impairment can mean taking a longer time to complete tasks and even thinking a lot slower than you normally would. In the long run, it can affect your visual ability, reaction times and long-term memory.

When working out, you are often surrounded by a lot of machinery and heavy objects. In such an environment, you need to have your wits about you so that you can perform an effective workout and also remain safe in that environment. In most of the drills required to enhance speed during a workout, great coordination is required which might be a problem without enough sleep.

Blocking Muscle Development

When you are working out so that you can gain strength, you need your muscles to grow. However, when you don’t get enough sleep, the opposite is what happens. When you don’t get the amount of sleep you need, the body starts producing catabolic hormones that start breaking down muscle for energy instead of your fat reserves. In such a scenario, you end up using the protein from your muscles therefore making it impossible to realize new gains.

Although it’s underrated, sleep is crucial to getting all the gains you have always wanted from exercises. Without proper rest, the body starts working against itself which consequently means that you not only don’t achieve your fitness goals, but you also feel tired most of the time in the gym. To ensure that you get to your goals, look for a balance between sleep, diet and working out. This combination will always work and provide you with the best results.