Who remembers the five factors of health? Eat, Sleep, Train, Think, Connect. Most of you guys might be thinking- Why is sleep listed before train? Training is obviously more important than Sleeping, right? The answer is no. Sleeping is as important as training; it could even be a more important factor. A good night of sleep maximizes recovery; therefore, the more your body recovers, the better you are going to perform the day after. If you are forgetting about sleep, you are not optimizing the way you should. You can train hard, but if your body is not recovering, your training performance is going to decrease and eventually you will be hitting a wall. Recovering is the base of training.
The First Step to Improve Your Training
First, we need to understand the importance of recovery. Let’s talk about the impact that your body gets every time you workout. When you go to the gym you are fatiguing your energy system and breaking down muscle. Therefore, when you are working out you are technically getting weaker. The moment you stop working out, your body starts recovering from the stress that received; a good night of sleep is extremely important to optimize your body and get ready for the next day. The first step to improve your training is sleeping 7-9 hours a night, every night.
“Who Gets the Most Productive Training, Gets Fittest” Ben Bergeron
Coach Brandon always mentions that intensity leads to results. The more you push the intensity in your workouts the better you are going to get. That is why we do constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. These high intensity workouts that we perform take a lot out of you (energy, muscle breakdown, etc.) Therefore, our nutrition and recovery needs to be on point in order to wake up the next day and have a good performance. The goal is to show up to the gym and have a productive training, sleeping 7-9 hours a night, will help your body optimize the way it should and improve your recovery.
Listen to Your Body
Ben Bergeron mentioned in Ep#032 of his podcast that if you only sleep 3-4 hours and wake up in the morning to go to that 5:00am class, you would actually get more benefits if you stay in bed and get some extra hours of sleep. The reason why is because your body will not recover properly in only 3-4 hours of sleep; hence, you will not be able to have a productive training and your body will keep receiving an excessive amount of stress and muscle breakdown and it will not recover from it. In addition, your energy throughout the day is going to be low, and you are going to feel sluggish and tired. If you ever start feeling “burned out” or like you “hit a wall” it is most likely that your body is not recovering appropriately.
Good Sleep will Improve Your Quality of Life
Martin Rawls-Meehan wrote an article back in 2012, on the CrossFit Journal, talking about the importance of sleep for your health, life, and athletic performance. The article mentions that a good sleep is one of the most important elements of health maintenance. A good night of sleep will improve your quality of life, reduce stress, improve your mood, lower the risk for diabetes, heart disease, and many other benefits. In other words, having a good night of sleep should be a priority for everybody. Make sure you darken your room, create a before-bed routine, stay away from screened devices before bed, and you will have a better night of sleep. I promise that if you sleep 7-9 hours a night, every night, factors like performance, quality of life, mood, energy, health, will improve!
“The future is shaped by your dreams, so stop wasting time and go to sleep!” – Anonymous.