Hey are how you doing? It is me trainer Bodde and today I’m going to be discussing just how much sleep you need to be getting and why it is so important to your workout success!
So a lot of us focus so much on what supplements to take, guzzle down the protein powder, and slam down the burners overlooking one of the most important ingredients to the recipe of goal hitting. To be honest, those supplements are not going to do nearly as much as sleep! Sleep is going to be 10x more effective and the good news is you can get more of it tonight.. FOR FREE!!
So before I reveal exactly how much sleep you should be getting I want to talk a little bit about why sleep is so important and lets be honest anything you spend 24 years of your life doing MUST be important. Lets see why…
Well first I want to point out that sleep has been used as a standard form of torture for a number of wars and conflicts throughout the years. Also you may know that holding a criminal back from sleep in a hostage situation is one of the most used tools to get someone to surrender. This stuff kills guys! You may not directly die from lack of sleep but some studies reveal the chances of a heart attack or stroke increase by about 40% from too little sleep. Yikes!
I am sure most of you have felt some symptom from lack of sleep, but what is it really going on when you go to sleep at night? There is a lot more going on then just closing your eyes and dreaming about that strawberry fritter you skipped today. You are literally going through an entire repair process that includes boosting your immune system, cleaning out your body, processing waste from your digestive system, and more importantly you are cleaning out all the cellular waste that is inside your brain from all that thinking! (or lack of!) It is pretty crazy to think that your brain is creating waste as well, but it is and if you do not clear that gunk out it is going to come and force you down for some rest/shut eye in the form of injury, sickness, or just about anything that you can think of that will cause the end result to make you pay your sleep debt and get some rest.
So we know it’s cleaning the waste out of your brain and body but it’s also doing a lot of other important things like regulating hormones levels, repairing every cell in the body, and just overall attempting to get your body back on track for that next day. A little question how do you expect to perform your best if you do not let you your body go to the “body shop” in your bed long enough to do what it needed to get fully rejuvenated?
Another important thing that sleep is doing for you that has to do with your weight loss is if you do not get enough sleep your body is going to end up craving more of those yummy sugars and complex carbohydrates which are all things that usually contribute to you gaining a little bit more body fat and not seeing those precious abs!
I have to tell you when I get good sleep my body feels amazing and my face, eyes, and skin all look so rested not to mention my muscles look as big/tone as they possible could. All this from just a good night sleep. That is why I am taking the time to tell you this and encourage you to just value your sleep that much more.
Lets talk about some things that sleep is doing for you that directly relate to muscle repair and your body looking the best. Well besides putting your body through the ultimate repair cycle after an intense workout your also allowing your body to release special hormones that contribute to the increase of lean body mass, thats that yummy muscle incase you didn’t know. Can anyone say sexy time?
Lets step away from the body and think about how much sleep contributes to having a positive attitude. Don’t forget how hard it is to get to the gym on a good day. Trying to go to the gym after a horrible night sleep is just not gonna happen. Also motivation is fueled by rest, you wake up some days on a high, you wake up on some days on a low but no matter how you wake up your motivation levels need to be fueling your actions. If you don’t get the rest needed to feed this part of your brain you just won’t “feel” like going, I know we have all been there. My goal as a trainer is to help you realize just how much of getting into shape is about your lifestyle not just your workout program or dietary choices.
Lets be honest too, besides the lack of muscles and motivation your just gonna simply be a hard person to deal with! Yelling at your kids, irritable with your co workers.. nobody likes a no sleep nancy! Save us all and get that rest lol.
Alright so now you know what sleep does and understand the big jobs and contributions it makes to a fitness program, so lets talk about how much you should be getting.
A lot of studies have been done monitoring four, six, and eight our sleep cycles. I know you may be laughing thinking you will never get eight hours a night and I agree its a pretty hard job to get it in especially if you are busy. I know because I struggle with that sometimes, but I hope that after hearing this you may reconsider
So the people that were getting six hours of sleep a night noticed an incredible decrease in cognitive function they recorded claims that they could not process thoughts quickly and had a hard time thinking clearly. Translation, they couldn’t get the job done! Also these people had a really hard time focusing on workouts or projects they were working on throughout the day. Something I found really interesting is they compared someone who was only getting six hours of sleep overnight to a person who had a .10 blood alcohol content level. This is crazy because that is pass the legal drunk level by .02! Those of the test subjects that had only gotten 4 hours or less a night noticed a heightened level of confusion and at some points even claimed they were hallucinating. These people literally could not stay awake during an entire day. Now those lucky sleep testers that got eight hours of sleep woke up claiming they felt super fresh, were super motivated, happy, alert, and claimed they had the best workouts ever.
In summary people if you can get 8 hours a night I can guarantee you an amazing day!
Now eight hours might seem a little bit challenging so i’m going to throw out the number 7.5 hours in one night. Why? Simple, you have five major sleep cycles; 4 brain neural activity cycles and then 1 REM cycle so that equals five cycles in one night. Those cycles are about 90 minutes in length so I want you to try to get a total of five 90 minutes sleep cycles and really try to wake up at the end of your sleep cycle. I don’t know if you ever done this but maybe you have taken a nap in the day or maybe you woke up just extremely groggy after a night where you thought you went to bed early, chances are you woke up in the middle of a sleep cycle. I have done this several times and when I do I barely can remember what day it is let alone what I’m supposed to be doing haha. So how does this work exactly? Let’s say you go to bed at 10:00 pm I would try to wake up approximately 5:30 am even if you really don’t have to wake up until 6:00 am because waking up right at the end of your 5th 90 minute sleep cycle will not only leave you feeling rejuvinated and rested but will allow a little extra time to make a healthy breakfast, plan your day, and well just about anything you need to do in the morning that you just haven’t had time for lately.
I dare you to try it and comment below to let me know if it helped you or not.
Now those of us there watching this thinking hey I’m all good because I get like 12-15 hours of sleep per night well believe it or not there have been a lot of studies proving that too much sleep is almost just as bad as having to little sleep so I would definitely watch that and simply try to decrease your sleep and you know what get your butt out there a little earlier, do a workout, call a friend, make some breakfast… who knows just wake up and live that life!!
Thanks for reading. I really hope tonight you try to get at least 7.5 hour of solid sleep and try to plan the best time to fall asleep based on your wake time! Get some rest people and avoid waking up mid sleep cycle. You won’t regret it!
If you have any direct questions feel free to reach out to me on Instagram @trainerbodde
You can also CLICK HERE to schedule a complimentary fitness consultation at my gym in UTC.
*This topic was featured on my new Radio Segment on Jammen z90.3! You can catch me every Thursday at 8:00am talking about something new! Don’t forget to tune in and like my @trainerbodde Instagram page every week!
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