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How sleep can improve your workout

Working out is one of our favourite things to do around here. Not only does it give us lots of energy and helps our mental health, it also helps us sleep and is great for our hearts. There are so many benefits to exercise, but we were curious if there was a way to improve our workouts with the daily things that we do. So we’ve decided to explore how sleep can improve your workout since that is one of the cornerstones of health and is one of the easiest things you can improve upon. 

Sleep is vital to our recovery, both mentally and physically, so it’s no wonder that it would have an impact on our work out. Research shows that sleep deprivation can inflame your muscles and impair your recovery time (1). “Sleep deprivation reduces protein synthesis, which decreases the ability to restore muscle damage and aggravates the harmful effect of high-intensity exercise,” (2). By ensuring you have healthy sleeping habits, it will help to reduce your chance of injury and allow your muscles to recover more easily, making it easier to work out next time!  

Sleeping well has actually been linked to improved athletic performance. Studies have found that poorer sleep is associated with poor physical functioning. In a study of 2,800 women with a mean age of 83, researchers discovered that poor sleep quality led to slower walking and difficulty performing independent activities (3). Another study of basketball players, with a mean age of 19.5, they discovered that longer sleep improved speed, accuracy, reaction times, and mental well-being (4). Longer sleep is proven to help improve your physical performance, both in the everyday activities you do, and in athletic activities. 

Research published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine has found that getting a good night of rest can help motivate people to stick to their exercise routines and work out the next day (5). In the study, the more time spent asleep, the more likely the participants were to complete the exercise plan for the day. Which means that sleep is key for getting a good workout and ensuring that you are prepared for the gym each and every day. 

Working out isn’t more important than your sleep though. Both are important as they inform one another. If you have poor sleep, you’re likely to have a poor workout and the opposite is true too! Good sleep helps your physical functioning improve, and a good workout helps you sleep better. If it comes between being able to go to the gym and getting a good night of sleep, it’s far more important to get a good night of sleep. Being fit informs a lot of your health, but sleep informs even more. So, in order to build a better workout, be sure to take steps toward building healthy sleep habits. 

References:
  1. https://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Abstract/2020/02000/Effects_of_Sleep_Deprivation_on_Acute_Skeletal.28.aspx 
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0024320519307623 
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17969465/ 
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21731144/ 
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23946713/

Written by:
Stevie Deale

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