Posted on May 24, 2017 by Jenny Cromack

When it comes to health, there are a couple of factors that are always mentioned: exercise, nutrition and psychology – and rightly so, these are probably a few of the most important part of having a healthy lifestyle. But there is one factor that often gets forgotten about, and it’s ironic because it is something that we ALL must do. SLEEP. 

how important is your sleep

So how important is your sleep?

Just yesterday I was reading something about just how important sleep can be (Le Meur, Skein & Duffield, 2013). I thought I would share with you some of their points about sleep, adding a couple in of my own.

  1. A reduction in sleep quality and quantity could result in an autonomic nervous system imbalance which would induce symptoms of overtraining. Fatigue, lack of concentration, boredom and most importantly no motivation.
  2. Growth hormone, which is a fundamental hormone for tissue growth and repair is only released during deep sleep. If you don’t get to deep sleep, how can you expect to see any adaptation from your training or recover from your previous sessions.
  3. 1.7 times increased risk of being injured if you sleep less than 8 hours a night. This number is for athletes so I would imagine it would exponentially increase for everyday Joes such as me and you.
  4. Sleep loss could promote immune system dysfunction, the immune system is vital in keep us healthy and keeping us going day to day.
  5. Moreover, sleep loss is associated with slower and less efficient cognitive function. Cognition is alertness, reaction time, memory and decision making. All of which we can carry over into our training or in our lifestyles. This, in turn directly relates to point 3 and the increase chance of injury.
  6. Sufficient sleep should be obtained after a training session as the perceptual and motor learning process continues into and through the subsequent sleep. MY FAVOURITE POINT. My client will know how particular I am on proper technique on big compound movements like the deadlift, squat, KB swing etc. Sleeping can help this learning process.
  7. Technology warning alert! 2 hours exposure to light before sleep can affect sleep by up to 22%. Switch off the TV and your phones before bed kids!!!

WOW. Even re-reading some of these points amazes me, sleep is vital part of not only your life but your training, treat it as importantly as you would a strength session or a conditioning session. And just see the benefits for yourself.