Sleep is Not an Option-It's a Necessity
Sure, we joke about wanting a nap during some of our busiest days, but we all know that isn’t going to happen. It’s usually at night that we have the best chance of getting the sleep that our bodies so desperately need. If you’re anything like me, then your brain thinks that getting into bed is code for “Let’s come up with some great ideas!” If you’re prepared for these, then you can quickly jot them down onto a notepad beside your bed, and go back to sleep. However, many people lie there in the dark mulling them over and figuring out which steps to take next. It is very important to try to put these matters aside though and let your brain relax.
Some of the downsides of not enough sleep obviously include how we relate to others in our life. That means when we’re faced with a challenging situation, we’re not going to react the same way as we would if rested. We’ll have fewer positive interactions and we’re not going to have the same focus to apply to our daily routines—and that includes exercise. When your body is tired, it’s not able to perform like you want it too, and that can be frustrating. Sleep allows your muscles to recover and be less sore from a tough workout the previous day.
Your memory is going to suffer when you haven’t had enough rest. Did you work arms or legs two days ago? Tough to remember? Get some rest! At work, at home, and even driving in traffic—all of these are situations that can be disastrous if our brains are not rested enough. Put your head on the pillow, close your eyes, turn on some white noise, and GO TO SLEEP.
If your body is tired, then it’s also not able to prevent injury like it normally would. You’re not paying attention to form as closely as you need to, and you’re much more likely to injure yourself because of it. Believe it or not, the risk of injury is twice as much for sleep-deprived individuals, as it is for other people who get their rest.
The physical effects of no sleep include a higher risk for strokes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, and even obesity. It causes lower immunity and more susceptibility to injury. With this increased stress on the body, you’re now creating more cortisol—none of which is good.
To help yourself and to get that brain to be quiet when you get into bed, stay away from caffeine during the second half of the day. You can also prepare yourself by making notes on what the next day will hold, so you don’t have to stay up late making notes in bed. This kind of mental preparation will make you feel better and allow you to close your eyes peacefully for a good night’s sleep.
When you wake up feeling rested, drink plenty of water and head on over to the gym to see how improved your workout routine is!