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Intense Exercise and Sleep: Finding Your Balance


IN THE FITNESS WORLD, sleep is king. Various factors may, however, impair a full night’s rest. Sure, a hard workout can increase sleep quality by tiring your body, but excessive exercise can reduce your body’s ability to physically rehabilitate and remain sleeping. To balance exercise and sleep, there’s a few things you should know.

High Carbs and Sleep Quality

First and foremost: More time in bed doesn’t equate to more sleep. Typically, hard trainers hit the hay early, stick under the sheets for long hours and have balanced schedules. They may not, however, benefit from actual sleep.

Excessive exercise often results in a high consummation of carbohydrates. High amounts of carbohydrates, while necessary to sustain an active body, may lead to lost sleep quality. While carbohydrates are needed to create energy, your body can “overextend” itself, mistakenly using carbohydrates to keep you awake, rather than spend them on workout time.

Moderate carb consumption, meanwhile, increases sleep quality. In general, you should consume enough carbohydrates to power your exercise. Avoid over-consumption, as it can energize your body during typical rest hours.

Temperature and Alertness

On the non-diet side, over-training can result in raised body temperatures, alertness and an overactive body. In such cases, sleep patterns may be hindered by constant tossing, turning and overheated sleep sessions. Exercise, in most cases, actually promotes sleep. That said, the anxiety-reducing benefits of exercise might be considered negligible if an over-trained individual constantly struggles to “shake off” the day’s workout energy.

Sleep and Metabolism

While over-training can, indeed, impair sleep, moderate to heavy exercise greatly boosts the body’s functionality where sleep is considered. Athletes who exercise frequently experienced higher quality levels of sleep, and a full night’s rest can fight belly pounds.

Likely, your weight-loss goals are contingent upon getting a good night’s rest. Sleep deprivation decreases the human body’s leptin, which is a chemical responsible for making one feel “full.” Less sleep, in most cases, results in a hungry metabolism.

Sleep and Muscle Repair

Sleep is an integral stage of muscle growth, too, and athletes suffering from sleep deprivation often lose valuable growth hormones otherwise boosted during a comfortable night’s sleep.

When your body sleeps, it strengthens bones and muscles with these hormones. A sleep-deprived body has less recoverability, reducing one’s ability to increase strength and endurance. In fact, many bodybuilders consider sleep to be the most important factor of their routines. Muscle repair, in most cases, is contingent upon consistent, high quality sleep sessions.

The Balancing Act and You: How Much is Too Much?

Because exercise boosts sleep quality, and because sleep quality directly impacts strength and stamina, it’s important to find a healthy balance between vigorous exertion and sleep.

If your exercise routine leaves you with excess energy, persistently high temperatures or anxiety, it might be hindering your body’s nightly growth. Find out if your late afternoon routine is carrying over into bedtime, and try to shift your daily exercise away from unnecessarily long sessions.

4 Important Things to Remember

1.Sleep is vital to your body’s growth. A healthy balance between heavy training and rest exists, but it needs to be heavily considered.

2. Pay attention to your body, and don’t neglect it by putting in far too many hours in the weight room, on the field or on the court.

3. Be kind to your body, and maximize its health by taking advantage of its natural processes.

4. When in doubt, check into an early day workout routine. You’ll be surprised how much a rise-and-shine exercise plan can benefit your day — and even your night.

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