Okay so you’re determined to lose weight, get those rock hard abs, lean biceps and a chest size you can be proud of. Awesome! So much so that you ask a buddy of yours so you get a friendly competition along the way, someone you can silently compete with. Months forward, you see him getting the results you want. Why is that? Well, you're practically doing the same stuff he does and for the same amount of time, but why is it that he’s getting leaner and bulkier than you are. How come? Chances are, you’re not getting enough sleep. And not just any sleep, night sleep.
No sleep = little to no gains, here's why.
Research has it, that proper night sleep actually burns 55% more fat and builds 60% more muscle as compared to someone that sleeps at day time for shorter periods of time. Technically, it’s safe to say that you’re sleeping your fat away. I know it sounds ridiculous, but if you properly organize your day, what time you wake up, work out and sleep in the evening, this statement should hold to be true. We should know, science did all the heavy lifting to prove it.
Sleep deprivation is not just a thing you do and recover the next day from. You’re basically punishing your body and stopping it from balancing your glucose production. Natural glucose production happens when an individual sleeps, and it has a lot to do with your daily energy levels. With low levels of glucose, you’ll easily exhaust yourself faster than you normally would if you got enough evening sleep. Another fact that happens during a good night sleep is the production of our bodies testosterone levels and IGF-1. Our testosterone levels get a fresh start everyday provided we replenish it with a good REM sleep. And as we choose not to sleep, we also choose to slow that process down. Low testosterone levels means a slower period to build muscle and muscle repair. Scienced!
No sleep = prone to injury
Another research proves that people that lack sleep are more prone to making mistakes. Lifting weights is not just a test of your physical strength but also your mental endurance. And depriving yourself of a good night sleep ruins your body’s ability to recover from both physical exhaustion and mental fatigue. Studies show that people who stay up at night avoiding sleep have significantly slower reaction times compared to those that are well rested. I don’t know about you but a slower reaction in the gym, is just asking for it.
No sleep raises your appetite to abnormal levels
When you’ve probably said the words “I’ve probably done it all but I never lost that much weight”. Then chances are, you’ve done most but sleeping is not one of them And, if you think about it, it is probably the easiest and most effective way to keep your gains and have the energy to do the same thing the next day. According to research, our bodily hormones named ghrelin & leptin are responsible for our appetite levels. Sleep deprivation raises our ghrelin levels and acts as a flood gate for our food intake which keeps it wide open. While leptin shuts this gate during a good night’s sleep.
So before you decide and commit to a fitness goal, know that you are also committing to a healthy 6 hours of evening sleep. Besides, you earned it.