For most people, hitting their fitness goal is all about training harder and following a strict nutrition plan. While this is part of the process, it is not all that you need. In integrative health coaching, rest and recovery is very crucial. You can push yourself to the wall and beyond but if you don’t get enough sleep you will never hit your goals as fast as you want.
That’s a load of crap, you might say. But could dozens of scientists be wrong? Apart from the super-hyped motivational videos on YouTube that claim you should sleep faster, how many times have you heard that you should get at least 7 hours of sleep? A lot, right?
Lack of sleep causes lack of motivation to exercise
According to a 2013 Northwestern University study, it was found that the less sleep you get the shorter your exercise duration will be on the next day. This is according to Cathy Goldstein, M.D, a sleep physician at Michigan Medicine and a professor of neurology in the Sleep Disorders Centers at the University of Michigan.
Nobody feels like going to the gym when they feel exhausted. Lack of sleep causes a lack of mental motivation and reduces the physical payoffs of exercise.
Not getting enough sleep leads to poor meal choices
Goldstein further added that the pitfalls of eating junk food are twofold when sleep is in short supply. This is because night owls are a lot more likely to snack in the evening by hitting a drive-through or raiding the pantry. Needless to say, this will undo your fitness progress. Studies have found that people who eat during nighttime weigh more.
It has also been found that people who don’t get enough sleep tend to make poor meal choices during the day. This is because sleep restriction reduces the levels of leptin (the hormone that makes you feel full) and increases ghrelin which in turn increases your appetite and alters your food choices in a bad way.
Sleep deprivation increases nicotine dependence
As a reputable health coach in Hollywood LA, my priority is not just to get you in shape but also to get you to stop the negative habits. Smoking is a very common problem people deal with. When they establish their fitness goals, one of their objectives is to stop smoking.
Not getting enough sleep increases the risk of nicotine dependence. While researchers are not sure why this is so, most researchers believe it is because nicotine has properties that help users concentrate or relax.
Low sleep leads to poor decisions
Hitting any goal requires a lot of willpower. The problem is it only takes a few bad decisions to undo progress. If not careful, one bottle of beer can turn into two then three and before you know it you are dealing with hangovers when you should be in the gym. The same goes for a slice of cake every day, skipping the gym because you don’t feel like it and so on.
As a health coach in Manhattan Beach, I have found that lack of sleep leads to poor decisions. Many studies have proven this point. Most bad decisions tend to be negative. Even when you are aware that taking tobacco is harmful to your health, you still take it because you need the rush or you don’t feel like sticking to a strict plan.
More sleep leads to lower weight gain risk
While the link between obesity and short sleep patterns is still not clear, there have been many studies throughout the years that link obesity to poor sleep patterns. A more recent study in the journal Sleep Medicine argued that while lack of sleep may not contribute directly to weight gain, lack of sleep can affect a person’s ability or desire to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Sleep helps muscles to rest and recover
The key reason why as a remote health coach in LA I strongly recommend getting adequate sleep is because sleep helps the muscles to rest and recover. It is in the deepest part of your sleep cycle that growth hormones are released to repair and regrow tissues, muscles, build bones and strengthen the immune system. What this means is if you keep waking up, you will take longer to recover from injuries or to reach your fitness goals.
How to Practice Good Sleep Hygiene?
Part of harnessing a good sleep routine is to make sleep feel automatic. Start by getting a good quality mattress to get an uninterrupted night’s sleep. Get a mattress that addresses spinal alignment and muscular tension. You also need a pleasant bedroom environment that is both inviting and relaxing.
In online fitness coaching in LA I further recommend you do the following:
- Have a fixed wake-up time regardless of whether it is a weekday or weekend. Fluctuating wake-up time keeps you from getting a rhythm of consistent sleep.
- Prioritize sleep. Refrain from skipping sleep to exercise, socialize, study or work.
- Make gradual adjustments. To keep yourself from messing up your schedule, change your sleep times gradually. A small step-by-step adjustment of an hour will be great.
- Avoid naps. Naps can throw off sleep at night.
When you want to hit your health goals, you have to prioritize sleep. As you may have seen, the lack of sleep can throw you off balance and slow your progress. If you are not sure where to start, get in touch with me. I am a personal health coach in LA that genuinely has your best interest at heart. I will not only help you create a rock-solid health and lifestyle routine that generates results but also give you tools that will help you remain on track.