Health, Fitness + Wellness Articles Straight from the Source

Sleep 101: Is Sleep Your Limiting Factor?

Rest and recovery are integral pieces to the puzzle that puts together our wellness. Whether our goals are performance, weight loss, muscle gain, or anything else, sleep needs to be a top priority.

Did you know that sleep helps regulate and control our metabolism? 

  • Lack of sleep messes up our hormonal regulation of hunger: Less sleep can cause a rise in our hunger hormone (Ghrelin) and a dip in our satiety hormone (Leptin).
  • Lack of sleep causes a drastic rise in our stress hormone (Cortisol). 
  • Studies also suggest that   if you are losing weight but not sleeping enough, at least half of that weight is lean mass tissue (mostly muscle) instead of fat. Although the number on the scale might be going down, you’re actually hurting fat loss goals in the long term because lean mass helps consume fat and keep it off.

4 Signs Your Sleep Habits Aren’t Working For You

  1. You’re unhappy – While we sleep, we produce fresh neurotransmitters and regulate hormone production. Interference with this causes impaired emotion regulation, heightened stress, low mood, and possible increase in depression.
  2. You’re getting sick a lot – When you don’t sleep enough, T-cell production goes down and inflammation goes up, increasing our vulnerability to viruses and bacteria as well as increased risk of heart disease and other inflammation related illnesses.
  3. You’re struggling with your weight – Poor sleep is linked to excess body fat as it can disrupt appetite regulation and cause you to feel hungrier. Worse, excess body fat can reduce sleep quality.
  4. Your workouts feel too hard – Sleep is an opportunity to refresh neurotransmitter levels and remove energy draining metabolites. Lack of sleep drains strength, energy, and endurance capacity and creates a reduced desire to move/exercise.
  5. Foggy Head – A lot of us don’t even realize we’re not firing on all cylinders mentally, but a lack of sleep has severe repercussions to our productivity, creativity, and overall alertness. What we experience and learn during the day is cemented to memory and recall ability while we’re in a deep sleep. This rings true for motor learning (Movement) as much as other types of learning or memory retention.

Here’s some tips to improve your sleep!

  1. Exercise uses up stored energy but helps healthy hormone production to regulate metabolic system and deeper sleep states.
  2. Eat a medium sized dinner or small snack a few hours before bed – Make sure this meal contains healthy amounts of protein, fat, and carbs to stay satiated through the night. Otherwise you may wake up hungry and not even realize it. Furthermore, carbs help release serotonin which can improve sleep quality.
  3. Limit fluid before bed – Get hydrated during the day, and wind it down as the evening goes on. Nobody likes going to the bathroom multiple times a night in the cold!
  4. Go the *%#& to bed! – According to multiple sleep experts, every hour of sleep before midnight can count as much as 2x more than every hour after.
  5. Turn off electronics 60 minutes before bed – The light put out by electronics can mess with our natural sleep process and the production of melatonin.

Final Thoughts 

Unless you have an infant in the house, a good night’s sleep is in your control! No excuses.

We hear a lot of reasons (Excuses) why people aren’t getting enough sleep, and outside of having an infant in the house, most of them can be addressed. A good night’s sleep is usually completely within your control. It requires you to take responsibility for your habits, circadian rhythm, and environment. Have more questions? Reach out to us here at RevoMT to learn more about sleep habits and rituals, nutrition, and a healthy active lifestyle!

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