Trainer Tip Tuesday: Sleep

Are you catching your Z’s? I think it is safe to say that everyone could use some better sleep at night, especially around the winter holidays.

Experts recommend 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Not only do we need sleep for enhanced cognitive functioning, but sleep is also critical for muscle growth and repair. The human growth hormone is released during the non-REM phase (also known as deep sleep) and a lack of sleep reduces its secretion. A reduction in human growth hormone is associated with decreased muscle mass and exercise capacity. If you’re not seeing the results you’re working for in the gym, try increasing your pillow time!

Here are some tips to think about to help get that great night’s sleep so you don’t wake up feeling like the grinch.

  • Try to stick to a schedule and go to bed and wake up around the same time throughout the week. This will get your body in a rhythm and help you fall asleep faster and wake up feeling refreshed.
  • Eat at least 2-3 hours before bed so you are not overly hungry or stuffed before going to sleep. Avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol because it disrupts your sleep throughout the night.
  • Exercise during the daytime so your body is ready to rest at night. However, avoid exercising too close to your bedtime because your body needs time to calm down after exercise.
  • Avoid taking naps throughout the day so your body can rest thoroughly at night.
  • Avoid watching TV or being on your phone 2-3 hours before you go to bed. These screens can emit blue light which triggers your brain into staying awake and inhibits your brain from producing enough melatonin to put you to sleep. Instead, read a book with a red light. Studies show this helps start your imagination and puts you to sleep faster without using lights that will keep you awake.

Trainer Tip by: Leah Sanders and Justus Kree