How Can Sleep Improve Your Health and Fitness?

If you want to improve your fitness and health, you should keep in mind that sleep is a very powerful way to achieve this goal. You need to focus on improving the quantity and the quality of rest if you want to enjoy the benefits that it provides. Sleep is one of the most critical things that can nourish your body.

When you don’t get enough shut-eye during the night, it is not easy to eat the right foods the next day. Your body will be worn down, fatigued, and tired out. In these situations, eating healthy foods is not something that people want to concentrate on. They are simply hungrier than usually and prone to consuming larger amounts of food. Unhealthy snacks are also a common choice of sleep-deprived individuals because they need to make up for the lack of energy. Only one night of shortened sleep has a negative impact on metabolism.

As you can see, rest deprivation affects cravings and appetite, and that’s why sleep is one of the most important things that you should address in case you want to improve your fitness and health. If you wish to find out more about the importance and benefits of sleeping, be sure to check Counting Sheep Sleep Research Guide. It can help you improve your sleep patterns and enhance the quality and duration of rest.

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The Duration of Sleep

It refers to the number of hours that were spent sleeping, not including the amount of time spent lying in bed. You should keep in mind that sleep debt, or insufficient sleep time, is connected to a number of metabolic dysfunctions and health issues. When you short yourself on rest, you are borrowing against your energy and health for the future. The downside of this is that you can’t repair it. If you sleep only 3 or 4 hours from Monday to Friday, you can’t expect to make up for it during the weekend; it is simply not how it works. You should concentrate on getting 7 to 8 hours of shut-eye every night for optimal health, even 9 if possible. It is not difficult to get a proper amount of shut-eye, you may just need to make a few minor adjustments to your lifestyle, such as watching less TV and playing less video games. Sleeping 4 to 5 hours per night just for 10 days can increase cholesterol levels, reduce the levels of testosterone in men, reduce insulin sensitivity and affect memory functions. Insufficient sleep has a vital impact on metabolism and food choices, and if you want to enhance your fitness performance you should address the lack of rest.

The Quality of Sleep

Getting at least 7 hours of shut-eye at night is an excellent step in the right direction. However, the quality of rest is also vital. Your body won’t get what it needs if you spend most of the time in a light stage of sleep. Every person needs enough deep sleep to function properly. The quality of shut-eye is determined by the time spent in REM sleep and deep sleep. During the stage of deep rest, our bodies recover physically and release the highest levels of growth hormone. REM stage improves memory and supports brain function. Dreams are the most vibrant during this stage. If you want to improve your health, memory, and fitness, you need to ensure that you get enough quality shut-eye on a regular basis.

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When to Consult a Doctor

Lack of good-quality sleep has long-term negative effects on the body. Sleep deprivation can contribute to serious medical problems, such as memory issues, weakened immunity, and risk of heart disease. Often, disturbed sleep patterns are caused by underlying sleep conditions, such as insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome. 

Treating sleep problems is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Solutions may involve taking oral medication or body supplements, behavioral therapy, or for conditions like sleep apnea, using medical devices like continuous and auto-adjusting airway pressure (APAP) machines. It is best to seek the advice of a medical professional when experiencing issues with sleep.