Remember when we could see the sun when we woke up? Thanks a lot day light savings time! It’s cost us a little more than some light in the morning, some of us are also struggling with that small thing called Sleep. Actually it’s not a small thing at all, it’s a major factor in our success in and outside of the gym. Poor sleep impacts more than just our mood and need for caffeine, it has some pretty major effects on our body composition and how we recover.
Charles Poliquin (if you’re not familiar with him google him…now…I’ll wait) has made some major discoveries when it comes to sleep. Lack of sleep, feeling tired and exhausted whether from a long day or hard training, causes your hormones to go crazy. Any small shift in your hormones can make a significant impact not only on weight loss but also your ability to make strides in the gym. Yep it can affect your Gainz! Nobody wants that!
Poor sleep over time can reduce the body’s testosterone and growth hormone which will reduce your body’s ability to grow muscle and recover from hard training sessions. Nobody wants to mess with their Gainz right? Lack of sleep also has an impact on the body’s cortisol and insulin levels. These two are in charge of fat storage… increase them both and you’re storing fat like a champion. That’s one thing maybe we don’t want to be a champion at. So without sleep we have a better chance of storing fat and recovering slower from hard training sessions. Not to mention that your training probably isn’t going to be at the level it could be if you were well rested.
So what can we do to get more sleep as to not disrupt the Gainz? Start by making a commitment to it. Remember during the nutrition challenge when we gave you a gold star for sleep, well it’s time to start giving yourself a gold star for 7-8 hours per night. Also no blue light (phones/TV/Computers) before bed. I assure you that nothing horrible is going to happen on FB while you sleep, and if it does you’ll be well rested in the morning to handle it. If you’re one who struggles with sleep, try taking a hot bath before bed, it’s relaxing and it just feels good. Do your best to get some good sleep every night, it’s as important for your life inside the gym as it is out. We’re all a little happier with a good night of sleep.
Sara Mozingo is the Co-Owner, head coach, and programing wizard at CrossFit Icehouse. When she’s not developing rep schemes and diving into the nerdery she enjoys hanging out in nature hiking trails or climbing rocks with her side-kick Mr. Mosely.