We know that sleep is an essential aspect of our health. Not getting enough sleep doesn’t just make us tired the next day, it has a big impact on our bodies, especially if we are undertaking a high-intensity exercise regime. It’s crucial, regardless of who we are and what we are doing in our lives. But if you or your client is an athlete or an active person, sleep needs to be a top priority.
How Does Sleep Affect Exercise Recovery?
When we exercise on a regular basis, the energy levels of our body depletes. Athletes who sleep longer are those who can perform better during their routines. Their senses are active, and their bodies are on shape. They have no problems when it comes to their energy tank as they have adequately rested in the evening. Let’s look at what can happen to an athlete if they don’t get enough sleep as part of their recovery.
Sleep deprivation causes a lot of problems. Sleep loss impairs judgement. Studies have shown motivation, focus, memory, and learning to be impaired by shortened sleep. Without sleep, the brain struggles to consolidate memory and absorb new knowledge.
Insufficient sleep also leads to a higher risk of injury. A University of California study concluded that injury rates in youth athletes increased during performances that followed a night of sleep fewer than 6 hours. Another study looking at injury rates in high school athletes found that sleep hours was the strongest predictor of injuries, even more so than the hours of practice.
Tiredness affects the body’s immune system, making players more susceptible to illness. Shorter sleep periods don’t provide the body with sufficient time to regenerate cells and repair from the abuse of workouts, games, and daily activities.*
How Much Sleep Do You Need If You Exercise?
Well, there’s no exact answer to this question as it varies from person to person, on average, adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night. However, the frequency and intensity of a workout can help you determine how much sleep is needed. People who are still new to an exercise regimen may feel very sleepy post-workout. Once they get used to their increased exercise levels, the feelings of sleepiness should subside.
The importance of sleep for optimal recovery of the body after exercise should be regularly highlighted to your clients. A person should never take the evening rest lightly, as it is the very part of the day that allows the natural restoration of energy.
Getting enough sleep n a regular basis involves training your body and mind – just like a new workout. Insomnia can be caused by stress, anxiety, depression, jet lag or simply poor sleep habits. If you or your client is having trouble with sleep, please consult your health practitioner.