7 Reasons Sleep is Important for Weight Loss and Optimal Performance ...

There are endless reasons sleep is important for weight loss and optimal athletic performance. Sleep is a time for our bodies to become unconscious, lose touch with reality and also a time for our bodies to release human-growth hormone (HGH), which can help athletic performance and weight loss. So as you toss and turn, debating on getting up to do one last chore, be patient and fall asleep. Sleep is an important part of your training plan. So are you getting enough sleep of 7-10 hours each night? Here are the reasons sleep is important.

1. Lack of Sleep Causes Weight Gain

Lack of sleep raises the hormone cortisol in your blood, which will have adverse effects like weight gain. High cortisol levels increase your cravings for high fat foods which, if you give in, will result in weight gain. This is one of the major reasons sleep is important.

2. People That Sleep Less Usually Eat More

Inadequate sleep also cause an increase of your levels of ghrelin, which will increase your appetite. Research shows people with a slower metabolism and higher weight most often have a lack of sleep. So make sure you catch plenty of Zzzzzs.

3. Sleep Extensions Improve Athletic Performance

In a 2010 AASM study, basketball players were studied after extending their sleep to 10 hours per night for 5 weeks. The results produced a .07 second improvement in their agility sprint, a 9% improvement in their free throw percentage, and their 3 point field goal percentage improved by 9.2%. These dramatic improvements show that getting to bed early can majorly improve your athletic performance.

4. Sleep Has Healing Powers for the Body

Research shows that sleep repairs our tissues, muscle fiber and nerve cells. Sleep is also a time for the brain to organize memory and for your body to recharge itself. So make sure you make adequate sleep part of your daily training plan.

5. Inadequate Sleep is Linked to Type 2 Diabetes

Since lack of sleep plays a major role in glucose regulation, evidence shows that inadequate snoozers have a higher risk of Type 2 Diabetes. This is a scary risk but something you can easily control by getting to sleep early. Now that is major motivation to get to bed, sleepy head!

6. Sleep is the Best Medicine for Athlete Recovery

There is so much talk in the fitness industry about ice baths, massage and hydration to help an athlete recover post workout. But the best medicine for athlete recovery is getting adequate sleep. So post-game, be sure to get extra sleep or even sneak in a nap if you can. This will result in a quicker and more efficient recovery as well.

7. Sleep Will Help Increase Your Alertness

Want to be on the ball and be more productive throughout the day? Then make sure you get at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Adequate sleep will improve your attention to detail, memory and give you an extra spring in your step.

So now that you now the reasons adequate sleep is important for weight loss, athletic performance and simple functionality, are you getting enough sleep? Make sure you prioritize your health because you deserve to live a happy and healthy life! Now get to bed early, sleepy head!