June 12, 2020 3 min read

With our world more stressful and hectic than ever, we seem to be spending less time focusing on quality sleep.

We are staying up later, waking up earlier, and a lot of people completely neglect rest. Most of us know sleep is important … but a lot of people underestimate just how crucial it really is.

Literally one night of poor-quality sleep can affect your physical and mental performance drastically the following day. In fact … many studies show that when it comes to building muscle, burning fat, and improving health in general, sleep is just as important as your nutrition and exercise.

 Let’s just take a look at the impact of poor sleeping habits …

 One MASSIVE impact of poor-quality sleep and a factor that is extremely relevant given the current events is its effect on your immune system.

Poor-quality sleep makes you MUCH more likely to get a cold, flu or other infection. If you sleep less, you’re likely to get sick more often … simple as that.

 Some other common issues associated with poor sleep include:

  • Irritability
  • Mood Swings
  • Anxiety and Stress
  • Negative Hormonal Changes
  • Weight Gain
  • Increased appetite
  • Low energy
  • Less Muscle Gain

This list could honestly go on and on, but you get the idea here. Sleep is incredibly important if you are just trying to live a healthy life…and even MORE important for those with goals of losing fat or building muscle.

There is a lot of research out there that shows the quality of sleep you get is actually more important than the actual amount of time spent sleeping.

Maximizing the amount of time we spend in deep REM sleep is very important for general health. This is where your body does most of it’s recovering and rebuilding.

So, what steps can we take to actually improve and maximize our sleep?

Below are a few tips that can help:

  • REGULAR EXERCISE – Daily physical activity will help you fall asleep faster and improve quality of sleep. In an ideal world, you would like to get this done in the morning or early afternoon. If this is not possible, I would recommend getting a “relaxation” routine together post workout if you train at night.
  • LIMIT OVERALL CAFFEINE (especially near bedtime) – Using caffeine and stimulants, even within 6 hours before bed, can hinder and interrupt quality sleep.
  • DO NOT HAVE A HUGE MEAL BEFORE BED– You can ABSOLUTELY eat before bed, but a large meal can cause digestive distress and disrupt sleep quality. Stick with a smaller, protein - based meal.
  • TURN OFF YOUR SCREENS – Limit phone and TV time before bed, the light can mess with melatonin (sleep hormone) release and make it harder to slip into that deep sleep that is needed.
  • LOOK INTO NATURAL SUPPLEMENTATION– Natural sleep supplements can help the body better slip into that deep stage sleep. Look for ingredients like Melatonin, GABA, Kava Kava, and Valerian Root. Many of these ingredients have a synergistic effect and work better together ... so there are many supplements out there that contain all of these ingredients, and it will typically be more cost effective than buying them all separately.

As you can see, sleep is incredibly important when it comes to living a healthy and fit lifestyle. Improper sleeping habits lead to a long list of issues including weight gain, hormone imbalance and high cortisol/stress levels, overeating, appetite issues, poor recovery, and fatigue … just to name a few …

Moral of the Story… DO NOT OVERLOOK THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR SLEEP! If you need help improving sleep quality or have any more questions on this topic, stop into your closest store location or reach out to one of our Certified Sports Nutrition Specialist. We will be sure to get you on the right path.

**This article was written by Andrew Lynn, who has a Bachelor's in Science Nutrition and Dietetics. He is also a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist.

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*This post was written by Andrew Lynn, who has a Bachelor's in Science Nutrition and Dietetics. He is also a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist.


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