Our Fitness Blog
Sleep For Success: Are You Getting Enough Sleep?
According to the American Academy Of Sleep Medicine, sleep deprivation occurs when an individual fails to get enough sleep. One in five adults fail to get the proper amount of sleep each night. How do you know if you are sleep deprived? Well, here are a few signs to be aware of:
- Lack of motivation
- Lack of energy
- Increased errors
If you are experiencing these or similar symptoms, you very well may be experiencing sleep deprivation. How do we recover from sleep deprivation? According to the American Academy Of Sleep Medicine, there is no substitute for sufficient sleep. The only sure way for an individual to overcome sleep deprivation is to increase nightly sleep time to satisfy his or her biological sleep need.
Effects Of Sleep Deprivation
We all lead very busy lives, and all too often, getting the right amount of sleep falls lower and lower on the list of priorities. According to Dr. David Geier, most people need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Not getting enough sleep can lead to a myriad of negative outcomes. The effects of sleep deprivation go far beyond an individual just feeling tired and exhausted.
For example, sleep deprivation can cause the following:
- Decreased performance and alertness
- Memory and cognitive impairment
- Automobile Injury: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates conservatively that each year drowsy driving is responsible for at least 100,000 automobile crashes, 71,000 injuries, and 1,550 fatalities.
According to the Mayo Clinic, studies show that if you don’t get enough sleep, it’s more likely that your body won’t be able to fend off invaders. It may also take you longer to recover from illness. Long-term sleep deprivation raises your risk of developing chronic illnesses like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
According to Harvard Medical School, a few studies have found a link between lack of sleep and weight gain. Along with eating too much and not exercising, sleep deprivation is one of the risk factors for obesity.
Studies show that sleeping less than five hours a night increases the risk of death from all causes by about 15 percent. Sleep deprivation is dangerous to your mental and physical health and can dramatically lower your quality of life.
As you can see, sleep deprivation is not something we want to take lightly. No matter how busy we are, if we want to perform at our best and achieve our goals in all aspects of life (mother, father, business owner, student, athlete, general fitness, overall health, body composition, etc.), getting the right amount of sleep each night has to become a priority. Let’s be sure to rest for success!
Factors Affecting Sleep
Nutrition and training can definitely have an impact on sleep, both positive and negative. For example, overeating (especially late at night) and chronic overtraining can both negatively impact our sleep quality.
When it comes to nutrition, there is not a specific food per se that will help to improve sleep. Very similar to body fat loss, there is no one food, in and of itself, that is going to help assist in body fat loss. Rather, it’s a very dynamic approach when it comes to nutrition that will help assist in changing one’s body composition. And the same holds true for sleep.
We want to be sure that we feed the body immediately upon awakening and then every 2.5-3.5 hours thereafter all throughout the day. In addition, at every meal/snack, we want to be sure we have the proper balance of carbohydrate-protein-fat (9Round Nutrition takes all of this thinking out of this for you in terms of eating frequency, nutrient timing and the balance of carbohydrate-protein-fat).
Following these nutrition principles each and every day will help to stabilize blood sugar, insulin and serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that helps to assist in promoting healthy sleep. In addition, incorporating these nutrition principles will help to reduce food cravings that will then significantly decrease the chance of binge eating/overeating late at night, which can of course adversely affect sleep. You can now see how nutrition and proper sleep are so closely linked.
Let’s now throw that 1-2 punch combination to move another step towards improving sleep. In addition to proper nutrition, regular workouts each week can also be a huge benefit towards sleeping better. According to Brad Cardinal PhD, “Increasingly, the scientific evidence is encouraging as regular physical activity may serve as a non-pharmaceutical alternative to improve sleep.”
According to the National Sleep Foundation, people sleep significantly better and feel more alert during the day if they get at least 150 (3.5 hours/week) minutes of exercise a week, a new study concludes.
If you are already getting the proper amount of sleep each night, fantastic, keep up the good work. If not, no worries; let’s start to put the pieces of the puzzle together in terms of nutrition and training so that we can set ourselves up for sleep success. And, let’s continue to make sleep a priority, no matter how busy we are.
Dr. Rick Kattouf II
2x Best-Selling Author
Named One Of The World Fitness Elite® Trainers Of The Year