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Working in More Sleep for Your Workouts

By Donna Kostiew

Our lives seem to be getting busier and busier. In fact, and dare I say, that we have become completely consumed with the idea of “staying busy?” Our work has extended into the later hours of the evening, activities fill every time slot on our calendars, and we often find ourselves eating dinner after 8:30 at night. But we still need to work out. We still need to fit in that recommended amount of time for daily exercise. So what do we do? Well, usually we cut our sleep short and wake up before the sun.

The Importance of Increasing Sleep

Yes, I know you are busy and feel that you need to get up before the crack of dawn to make your run or workout happen, but too many nights of too little sleep won’t help your performance and you may be working out in vain.

Here’s what happens when you sleep.

  • Your body produces its growth hormone which encourages muscle growth and repair, promotes weight loss and fat burning, and helps athletes recover
  • Your body synthesizes protein, creates new cells, and repairs tissue
  • Your body’s immune system is boosted

Here’s what happens to your body when it experiences sleep deprivation.

  • You’re more likely to get sick
  • You’re more likely to experience workout exhaustion
  • You’re more likely to feel hungrier
  • Your body is less successful with converting carbs to glycogen (can we say “hello” to hitting that wall?)

Basically, more sleep equals a better foundation for exercise, and a better workout can lead to better health.

Adding Sleep to Your Schedule

If adding in extra time to sleep more seems impossible, or if you have trouble sleeping, then try the following suggestions.

  • Increase your sleep with small time increments (go to bed 15-20 minutes earlier for one week, then keep adding time)
  • Establish a bedtime ritual
  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day
  • Utilize a fan or some other kind of white noise machine
  • Try melatonin
  • Keep your room cool
  • Incorporate foods that promote better sleep (salmon, tart cherry juice, bananas, kiwi, soy, and fiber-rich foods)

Remember, the end goal is to add more sleep to your schedule. If you start doing that successfully but have a night where you get off track, don’t worry! Just try to make up for it the next time you lay down to sleep by doing so on time and getting up with the alarm. Make sleep your priority and treat it like the secret weapon it is. Pretty soon, you will be waking up ready to take on the world!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness seeyour local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Roswell, Ga.

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