Stay up late watching Netflix? Wake up early to hit the gym? You could be doing your body more harm than good. Here are four reasons why should you get the recommended 7-8 hours sleep a night.
1. Sleep deprivation leads to low testosterone and growth hormone, which are both important in muscle repair and fat loss. When your muscles aren’t repairing after workouts, the desired ‘muscle toning’ will not happen, no matter how good your training program is – plus you are more likely to develop an overuse injury.
2. Lack of sleep also leads to elevated insulin and cortisol, the main culprits in fat storage. When both cortisol and insulin are elevated, it’s literally impossible for the body to burn fat. That means any sugary treats or carbs you eat in a tired state will be picked up by insulin and stored as fat.
3. Sleep deprivation results in increased ghrelin (hunger hormone) and decreased leptin (the satiety hormone) which is a deadly combination. In a tired state, you’ll feel like binging on sugary treats to pick up your energy and mood, and the result is a sugar-fueled emotional roller-coaster driven by cravings.
4. Sleep deprivation impairs the function of your immune system and you are more likely to get sick (meaning less workouts). Lack of sleep affects your mental state, resulting in poor motivation (you don’t feel like exercising), poor concentration (you are more likely to get injured when not paying attention), and low moods (you’re more likely to look to food to ‘pick you up’).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Veronika Larisova | @veronikalarisova
Exercise Physiologist | @agogabondi
Co-Founder | @chief_bar