Logging Enough ZZZ’s?
Our wellness coach Jennifer Dietrick is here to explain the importance of sleep and some tips to help aid your snooze.
Building a solid sleep regimen is often-underrated component to optimal health and fitness. When you are strength training, your muscle cells are being broken down and it is during sleep when they are rebuilt with the proper nutrition.
How It Works
Growth hormone is released during sleep to rebuild these muscle cells. An individual needs to get at least 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep to be in REM sleep (deep sleep). This REM sleep is required for the growth hormone to be released to do its job of healing and building your muscle cells. Overall, aim to get 7-9 hours sleep each night.
Why It’s Important
If someone is lacking sleep, it can affect their appetite by increasing ghrelin and decreasing leptin. Ghrelin is a hormone that signals to the body that you are hungry and need to eat. Leptin decreases the appetite and tells the body you are full. Therefore, when people lack sleep, they tend to eat more throughout the day and also have more time to eat.
Allowing for the proper amount of sleep has other benefits as well. Your cognitive and physical function is improved by the proper amount of sleep you have. Your immune system is improved with an adequate amount of sleep. Your body is amazing and can do a lot of healing on its own. When you are sick, you want to sleep more because your body is trying to do its job of healing. If you keep pushing without sleep during these times, you will only prolong the illness.
Practicing Better Sleep Habits
If you need to get more sleep, start by committing to going to bed 15 minutes earlier for a month. After a month, add another 15 minutes until you are getting the proper sleep you need.
Meditation, which is in the mindset blog, is a practice that will help you fall asleep easier. To read the mindset blog, please click here.
Some other tips for better sleep are:
- Reading before bedtime (something calming)
- Having your bedroom at a cooler temperature
- Comfortable bedding and sleepwear
- Wearing an eye mask
- Using a weighted blanket
- Spritz a lavender scent on your pillow
- Put down the phone and turn off the tv. No technology an hour before bedtime
- Have the same bedtime every night
- Listen to white noise during sleep – rain is my favorite!
If you already sleep like a baby, then pat yourself on the back for your healthy practice.
Looking for other ways to lead a healthy lifestyle? Here are some of my favorite self-care practices.
Don’t forget about your muscle health.
Our muscles carry out the physical chores of our body, so be sure to keep your muscle healthy with myHMB®. Learn more.