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Sleep and the Effects on Training

Sleep and exercise are two important components to overall health. They both individually play an important role in your well-being. More importantly, sleep and exercise interact with each other to affect your health. Let’s discuss their importance and influence on your overall well-being below.

Benefits to Sleep and Exercise

Sleep is essential for the body, as is exercise as it provides benefits to our overall health. Without adequate sleep or regular physical activity you may notice physical, emotional, hormonal, and cognitive effects:

Physical Health:

  • Sleep is essential for repairing and regenerating tissues in the body that support muscle growth.

  • Sleep also helps strengthen the immune system.

  • Cardiovascular health can be improved with better sleeping habits

  • Sleep also has an effect on weight management

Emotional Health:

  • The amount of sleep and quality of sleep you get will affect your mood. If there is a lack of sleep, it is more likely that you experience irritability, anxiety, and depression.

  • It is also likely that your stress levels may increase. Being tired may make it harder to make important decisions and properly deal with stress.

  • Physical activity is a great way to relieve stress. Stress can affect our overall health, so finding ways to limit or control stress levels are necessary. Finding an exercise routine you can stick to and that is enjoyable is great for stress management.

  • Physical activity releases endorphins, the “feel good” hormone. The release of this hormone will lift your mood.

  • Both sleep and exercise

Hormonal Balance:

  • Adequate good quality sleep and regular physical activity both regulate growth hormones and cortisol levels, to help reduce stress levels as well.

Cognitive Effects:

  • Sleep is important for our memory, ability to problem solve, process information, and our overall cognitive function.

  • Likewise, exercise can provide mental clarity, enhance memory, attention span, and problem solving skills.

  • Reaction times and alertness will improve drastically with quality sleep. Due to an increase in alertness you may even feel more productive.

  • Reaction times and alertness are also important for physical activity, as you need to be alert and engaged mentally during exercise.

  • Feeling well rested will improve your day to day routine. You will process information faster, have less confusion, and be more creative.

Sleep & Exercise Working Together:

Both sleep and exercise will provide benefits for overall health. Getting adequate amounts of sleep and exercising regularly will improve your quality of sleep and help balance out your hormones. Sleep and physical activity will also improve cognitive function, mental health, and physical health.

As you can see from above, quality sleep and physical activity share some of the same benefits. Exercise can provide benefits to sleep just as sufficient sleep can benefit your workouts. If you are getting an inadequate amount of sleep, then you might notice a change in your energy levels while exercising. If you don't have adequate amounts of sleep your body might lose out on regenerating tissue, therefore may not support muscle growth. This would negatively affect the amount of progress you make toward your fitness goals.

It is important however to exercise at specific times to enhance your sleep. For instance, if you exercise too late in the evening it might disrupt your sleep at night. Your body is more alert after exercise, so an intense workout right before bed may not be the best option. Morning and afternoon workouts are usually better to help improve your sleeping habits. It is also important to note that this will vary from person to person. Some people may find that since they started working out more, they need more sleep to recover. This is normal. Since it is different for everyone, it is best to do what works for you. Create a set schedule for sleep and exercise that will align with your body to optimize performance results and improve sleeping habits.

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