Here’s the score. Regardless of your health and fitness goals, be it fat loss, getting jacked, coming back from an injury, it all starts (and stops) with sleep. This is our body’s opportunity to recharge and reset. It’s just like your phone – we get anxious when we see that power bar drop at the top right corner of the home screen. Because we know once that battery goes, it can make life hard. Same with a lack of sleep.
A good night’s sleep is a fundamental need for our brains to function normally. It keeps our emotions in check. It keeps us clear headed and more focused, something that can make or break a morning commute, the day at the office, and yes, you guessed it, exercise. No wonder life feels more difficult when you’ve had a restless night!
It’s not just a bad mood, there’s some real science behind this. Sleep (or lack thereof) has a big effect on our circadian rhythm and our hormones. For example, when we don’t get enough sleep, our leptin levels drop. This is the hormone that makes us feel more full. Conversely, ghrelin, the hormone that increases appetite, goes up. Our brain starts to crave comfort food, which is why that Prêt pastry might look so much more tempting when we’re running on empty.
Yes, the obvious, you may feel like Oscar the Grouch, Eeyore, or The Grinch!
You may crave comfort foods
You experience brain fog
Sex drive begone
You feel anxious
You’re hitting the snooze button like there’s no tomorrow
Here’s the second score: sleep deprivation is a very common thing. Many people think they’re doing ok on 4-6 hours a night but don’t realise the gains they could make if they slept the recommended 7-9 hours per night.
Better and more sleep will help you lose weight, make you sharper during the day, increase your metabolism and reduce the temptation to snack.
Sleep deprivation is extremely common. So much so that there are a lot of really helpful lifestyle hacks and apps you can try.
Remember, there's no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to the best sleep. You may not need 9 hours of sleep (or even have time for that depending on your routine and commitments) but finding your most optimal amount of zzz’s is worth the effort. Most people don’t realise they aren’t getting enough sleep until they really feel it, which is what you want to avoid.
No matter what 2022 holds for you, make improving your sleep a priority and give yourself the best chance at smashing your goals.
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