What is sleep?
Sleep by definition : a condition of body and mind which typically recurs for several hours every night, in which the nervous system is inactive, the eyes closed, the postural muscles relaxed, and consciousness practically suspended.
Our ability to relax is something that has got significantly more difficult as we have progressed through the millennial years, what we have seen is TVs entering bedrooms, working until we fall in bed, or scrolling through social media until we realise everyone else is asleep. The bedroom is a sanctuary, and should be used for sleeping however when other activities occur it makes it more difficult for us to unwind, our brainwaves struggle to switch off in this sanctuary and continue to work to beat deadlines. It the equivalent of trying to pull the handbrake up whilst hitting the accelerator.
Sleep will affect how high the ceiling and speed of your results.
This subject is highly researched and extensive, however we will keep this article limited to sleep and its affects of fat loss.
Research has shown that lack of sleep is linked to stress, weight gain and obesity, with adults who lack in sleep 55% more likely to be obese and a child lacking has an 89% more likely to be obese. In a controlled study to discover the effect sleep had on body composition it was found the group that got optimal amount lost 1.4kg of fat, whilst the group who lacked lost only 0.6kg of fat whilst also losing 2.4kg in muscle mass.
For more stats read this study from the NHS
Effects on Willpower
It is understood that sleep doesn’t just affect your wakefulness but will influence the choices of what you eat, a lack of sleep impacts the hunger hormones and increases your desire to eat (which is typically poor choice foods).
To improve choices of what you consume, you need to get sleep optimally. This means getting 7-8 hours uninterrupted per night, with a bedtime between 10-11pm and waking hours between 6-8am. Therefore aim for uninterrupted where possible.
Optimal amounts will ensure that the body continues to produce testosterone at its fastest rate. This will improve quality of life. Hormones affect confidence, can lead to increased muscle mass, reduce body fat and increased libido.
We understand that you have responsibilities and deadlines the may push bed time down your order of priorities. However there are a few basic principles that are not intrusive and can be applied easily.
-We recommend to not consume caffeine after 4pm. Even if you feel it does not interfere with your sleep it can still effect quality.
-Don’t work in bed, as it can make “switching off” difficult
-Read a book in bed opposed to watching TV*
-Wear eye shades such as “Blue light blocking glasses”
-Install a red-light blocker on your phone and laptop
*Currently watching updates on Covid-19 immediately before you go to bed will drastically increase stress and I guarantee will have a negative effect on quality.
There is no substitute for quality sleep. No supplement or food. It’s that important! Quality sleep is essential for your performance within and outside the gym. The ability to rest well at night will ensure your recovery from training whilst improving your cognitive performance.
Article written by William Nkrumah