Sleep, it is an important part of a good workout
Is your lack of sleep slowing down your fitness progress?
This is quite a serious question to ask yourself and you have to be honest with your response.
Are you averaging five hours of sleep a night? Working long days and nights? Pushing yourself in the gym, at work, with family and only rewarding yourself with a quick four hours?
At Hindssight we have invited our clients to join a 21-day sleep challenge, where we input our sleep hours with the aim of finishing with more than 126 hours of sleep. That is an average of six hours of sleep per night.
We are on Day 15 and it amazed me that I was only giving myself four to five hours of sleep most nights, depending on the energy drink Celsius to take me through the day.
As the challenge progressed I found myself making a conscious effort to get to bed earlier to get at least seven hours of rest. With seven days in the challenge left, I feel confident in this renewed sleep pattern I’ve created.
Getting sufficient rest not only provides you with energy throughout the day, but energy to complete your workouts with proper form and technique and 100 per cent effort. Furthermore, it allows your muscles to rest, recover and repair – GAINS!
So, I’ll ask you again – but in a different way: are you getting at least seven to eight hours of rest per night? Are you giving your body the rest it deserves? Are you doing everything else right but still not improving in your fitness journey?
Sit back, write a log of your sleeping hours over 21 days, aiming to surpass the 126 hour target. Not only will you have renewed energy, you will see an improvement in your time management skills as well. Knowing bedtime will come at 9pm instead of the usual 1am will have you cracking on the chores and e-mail deadlines, allowing you to fully rest at night.
Before I go, here’s one tip to help you get to bed on time. If you don’t do it already, put your cellphone on “bed mode” at 8.30pm. The screen will dull, the colour scheme will turn grey and notifications will be muted (except emergency calls – add those special numbers).
A grey, dull screen is quite boring to look at and scroll aimlessly on. I’ve noticed a huge improvement in my night-time screen time due to this “bed mode” feature. Give it a try.
Now you know I am all about fitness improvements and gains. The workout, the healthy eating, the healthy habits that we form all lead to a healthier lifestyle and improvements in all aspects. Sleep is an important factor that we cannot ignore. If you want to see improvements in your journey, remember that sufficient sleep will help.
Happy Wednesday fitfam and happy sleeping.
Dre Hinds is a retired track and field athlete who is now a personal trainer, aerobic and yoga instructor and fitness “addict”. Contact her on: firstname.lastname@example.org, 599-0412 or @Absbydre on Facebook and Instagram