Sleep and its Fitness Connection
by GamerFitnation on July 2, 2014 at 12:08 PM EDT

sleep

By Kyle Swain

You may think getting away with less sleep is the key to success, but it may just be adversely affecting your health. It is just as important to get enough rest as it is to exercise and eat right.  In fact sleeping more and better will make the other two that much easier to do.

According to Webmd, most people will need 7.5 or so hours of quality sleep a night.  Less than that will catch up to you and five hours or less will have immediate effects.  Two hormones that regulate hunger in the body are affected by your sleep patterns.  If you aren’t getting enough sleep then you Ghrelin levels increase which prompts you to eat.  The other hormone, Leptin, which tells you to stop eating is also reduced if you sleep less resulting in a weight-gain double whammy.  The news gets even worse as your metabolism slows when running on little to no sleep. These three combine to create a perfect storm for weight-gain.

sleep

What can be done to help get more shut-eye?  First of all caffeine intake should be either eliminated or reduced in the hours leading up to bed-time.  Exercise may help in improving the quality of your sleep but some may find going to bed immediately after exercise difficult so it pays to plan accordingly.  Greasy and fatty meals before sleeping may lower the quality of sleep as your digests the meal and may cause heartburn that can in turn lower the quality of sleep.  Lighter meals such as some whole-grain cereal, or a few crackers and reduced fat cheese make better choices right before nodding off.  If you still have trouble it is advised to see a doctor about your sleep problems.

It is important to realize that sleep is not something to be proud of foregoing.  It is absolutely crucial to your health and not getting enough causes a cornucopia of issues with weight-gain being one of them.  For more info on sleep and its effects WebMD has tons of information for you to browse through to learn  more and our previous article has other information on the topic.  The occasional marathon gaming all-nighter is OK, but it shouldn’t become a habit.

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