Sleep and fitness go hand in hand

Sleep deprivation causes hormonal disruptions

Sleep and fitness go hand in hand.

Are you getting 8 hours of sleep each night?

Regular sleep deprivation can cause a variety of hormone disruptions. The “master” endocrine organ, the pituitary, controls the secretion of other hormones and is influenced by sleep. This includes growth hormones which assist in muscle growth.  Sleep is the most important thing for a better body!  More important than an exercise routine, and even more important than nutrition.

Sleep deprivation causes strong sugar cravings

In addition, the sympathetic (fight or flight, adrenaline) and parasympathetic (rest, digest, and repair) nervous systems are influenced. Deep sleep decreases sympathetic activity and increases parasympathetic activity. Other endocrine organs and metabolism are sensitive to this. A well-documented example is insulin and leptin secretion, affecting body fat storage, appetite, and cravings.  A sleep deprived person has an increased appetite, decreased energy, and a sluggish metabolism…a bad combination for sleep and fitness.

Cortisol is a stress hormone, and it’s well known that increased cortisol levels can make weight loss a nearly impossible feat.  Sleep deprivation elevates cortisol levels because the body perceives stress.  When cortisol levels are up, the sympathetic nervous system ramps up in reaction, making sleep more difficult.  A vicious cycle ensues and insomnia sets in.

Elevated cortisol levels even causes insulin resistance, a risk factor for diabetes and obesity.  Sleep

Make sleep and fitness a high priority in your life

Make a habit of going to bed at the same time each night, and waking at the same time each morning.  This helps the body’s circadiun rhythm (internal clock) establish a healthy pattern.  You will have an easier time falling asleep and waking.  A well-rested individual has more energy for workouts, has a better attitude overall, and is more capable of making healthy diet choices.

sleep and fitness

Sleeping woman resting in bed with alarm clock ready to wake her in the morning