Getting the most out of your exercise programs starts with the sleep quality you get when going to bed. It is the sleep deprivation and the effect on exercise performance that may have you changing your sleep habits to help improve your overall health and fitness.
It is estimated by the CDC that roughly 30% of adults do not get the recommended seven hours of sleep they need each night to fully recharge the body. Proper sleep is just as essential as eating right when it comes to getting the most out of your exercise routine. While you may feel okay if you have gone several nights without good sleep, the results of numerous studies indicate that what you feel is not really what is happening to your mind and body.
Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Exercise
Even a single night of deprived sleep can lead to poorer performance when exercising. A lack of sleep can have the following effects.
- Reduced Endurance
- Limits on Muscle Strength
- More Difficult to Perform Complex Movement
But it may be the psychological effect that is the most pronounced. When you do not get enough sleep, the exercise feels harder to accomplish. This can lead to discouragement and cause you to fatigue faster even if you have been doing the same routines time and time again.
A lack of good sleep can start a cycle that is difficult to stop unless you start sleeping better. The fatigue works quickly to lower your motivation to workout. This leads to working out less and a lowering of muscle function. This can compound itself when the muscles do not get the rest needed to repair themselves. So, you exercise even less as a result.
How to Combat Sleep Deprivation
If you are not getting enough sleep at night, the answer is as straightforward as it gets. You need to start readjusting your sleep schedule to ensure you get the recommended hours needed of rest. Keep in mind that those who exercise are not only burning more energy, they are repairing and building up muscle tissue, so they need even more sleep.
Start by going to bed fifteen minutes earlier. Plus, prepare yourself for sleep before you go to bed by putting away all devices, shutting off the TV, and eliminating all light both in and entering the room. This helps prepare your mind for going to bed and you should fall asleep faster and obtain a better quality of sleep as a result.
When you miss out on good quality sleep, your mind and body will remember, so there will be some catching up you need to do. Once you have caught up, keep your sleep routine the same every night. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time.
There is little doubt of the correlation between sleep deprivation and the effect on exercise performance. What is not fully understood is how much deprivation of quality sleep is needed to create a negative effect. That depends on the amount of sleep quality that is deprived and the individual who may react differently than others under the same circumstances.