Sleep Or Exercise? Both Are Crucial To Your Health
Sleep and exercises are both vital to creating a healthy and happy lifestyle. In fact, they’re both necessities that any human should never live without. However, sometimes there are situations that arise making it difficult to choose the one that’s better for you. If you’re highly active then sleep is what you need more of than regular people.
Naturally, humans are designed to crave long periods of sleep time. Yet we rarely ever stick to getting in enough hours. This is because we’d much rather squeeze in an early sweat session or important business appointment. The issue is with enough time to rest, you do not get enough time to recover which affects the functioning of both your brain and your body. Especially for athletes.
Depriving your body of sleep for a long time has been linked to serious health problems. There is a direct connection to obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. There is new research which shows that sleeping as little as six hours per night can have surprisingly negative effects on otherwise healthy adults.
Sleep Or Exercise. Which One Do You Choose?
This is a very common dilemma that many of us face. Some people who are not too committed to their exercise would naturally opt for sleep. However, if fitness is important to you – the decision is a tough one. And, more than likely – you’re going to choose a sweat session over a lie in. You’re certainly not going to let all your hard work slide over a couple more hours of shut-eye.
Unfortunately for you, if this is you, studies say that people who are physically active, face terrible health risks if they don’t sleep enough. Tired athletes will face a slower recovery time and a greater rate of perceived exhaustion. This means that, if you’re chronically tired then you’re more prone to injury and can’t perform as well.
You Need More Sleep Than You Think
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) says that adults require about 8-9 hours of sleep per night. In addition, older adults (65+) need 7-8 hours. And these estimates are the minimum requirements. Therefore, if you’re exerting a lot of energy every day you’d probably need a lot more. Are you familiar with high-intensity training like Tabata or HIIT? If yes and you participate in these exercises daily you will require a much longer recovery time, This is because these styles of training are quite harsh on your nervous system, joints, bones and muscles.
People who do this regularly need to compensate with even more sleep to allow their bodies to recharge.
However, there is good news. If you continue through your life with moderate, regular exercise you can create a restorative sleep experience. This is really beneficial to those who suffer from insomnia or have difficulty falling asleep.
Studies show that the largest benefits come from more intense exercise. In a 2013 NSF survey, it showed that people who exercise vigorously reported significantly fewer sleep concerns than others who did zero exercise. Having said that, lighter forms of exercise also improve the quality of your slumber significantly by allowing you to fall asleep quicker.
When Do You Need More Pillow-Time?
There are the obvious symptoms of feeling irritable, tired, hungry or demotivated throughout your day. However, sometimes – particularly if you’re very active the endorphin release can mask your tiredness. If you’re suspicious or even curious then I’d recommend keeping a log book. You can write down the times you go to bed, wake up and the points when you suddenly wake up throughout the night.
It’s also important to document how you feel during the day. Ask yourself if you are waking up with energy or feeling sluggish. Are there points where your eyelids feel like closing? Perhaps your muscles feel sore and exhausted.
Usually, if you discover that you’re not getting in enough of the recommended hours, or that you have low energy. Then your body probably requires more sleep. Too often, we miss out on precious sleep time because we’re watching a series late at night. But, if you know you’ve got to wake up early the next day then ensure your bedtime corresponds with an early time. Or maybe you have difficulty falling asleep? Then try to get into bed 30 minutes before your normal bedtime to help relax your body and induce sleep.
Experts also suggest a sleep clock. This is a really helpful tool that simulates the setting and rising of the sun. Give it a try. Apparently many people experience really fantastic results!
Squeezing In A Workout
This seems to be a common mistake that many make. Guilty as charged!
Studies show that many professional athletes don’t get adequate sleep because of early morning training sessions. Whilst you might be happy your successful sweat session, it’s actually to the detriment of your performance. Yes, it is a necessity to remain committed to your fitness routine. However, it is just silly to prioritise its importance over your sleep time. The time you spend resting is just as important as eating healthy and exercising regularly. If you constantly neglect your body’s sleep needs, your body will suffer and you will be at greater risk for injury.
An injury is one thing, But you will also struggle to complete your daily tasks and work duties if you’re tired.
Maybe you’re feeling a bit stressed out at the moment? Then, it’s understandable why you might be finding it difficult to fall asleep at night. There’s just too much running through your mind. It is very helpful to relax your mind and keep your stress levels on the low. Experts highly recommend trying the Muse Headband, which is a great meditation aid that helps guide you to a calm mind.
Therefore, once again, we are faced with the challenge of establishing balance. You need to get enough of both and if you’re highly active it makes sense that you’d require a lot more than those who are not.
Every time there’s something to celebrate, or even when there’s nothing to celebrate, it calls for another round. This could possibly be the reason you’re not hitting those body goals, lacking energy and feeling sluggish.