What has sleeping got to do with diet and fitness?
I had a friend who, for years, felt that strength training was a waste of time. Then one day she began a regular program with a personal trainer. After a few weeks of working out her comments were very positive. She said she had never slept so well in many years.
In today’s society most of our jobs are sedentary – requiring a lot of mental and emotional energy and not a lot of physical work. Add to this a lot of stimulation in the form energy/caffeine drinks, and all of our modern technology (computer screens and TVs). It’s no surprise we don’t sleep so well.
However some little secrets for you;
It’s not wise to exercise too close to bedtime, since an increased metabolic rate may cause restlessness. A high metabolism level fatigues your body, but your body does need a calm metabolism level to rest. So you have to exercise at least 1-2 hours ahead of bedtime.
Outdoor exercise may be especially beneficial because of higher oxygen levels you receive. That’s also a reason why it’s recommended to take walks before sleep if you’ve got insomnia-related issues.
Morning may be the ideal time to exercise because it influences circadian rhythms that may positively affect sleep quality.I would also add that high intensity exercise right before bedtime will leave you feeling quite hungry!
Some other anecdotes for better sleep include – no caffeine after midday. Don’t look at a computer or TV screen at least 30 minutes before you try to sleep. Then there is the old adage about drinking milk (or even other proteins).
There has been a considerable amount of research into weight gain / loss and levels of sleep. Too little sleep has been linked to obesity. A recent study showed that when sleep was restricted, hormones controlling appetite went out of balance.
“If you’re chronically fatigued, many people reach for calories to give them energy and that something is usually high calorie food.”
Everyone has different ideas about sleep and helpful secrets. If anyone reading this blog wants to add any constructive ideas that would be great!