Sleep is a crucial (yet often looked-over) aspect of our overall fitness. It’s simple – our bodies work better when we are well-rested. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to get the sleep you need each night to power your best performance.
If you want to level up your workout routine but haven’t prioritized your sleep yet, here are a few things you need to know.
4 Ways Sleep Improves Your Workout Routine and Fitness
Easier and more energetic workouts
If you want to feel like a well-oiled machine at the gym or on your pilates mat, you have to fill your energy tank. And that starts with a good night’s sleep.
Getting the recommended 7-9 hours of quality, restorative sleep you need each night allows your body to make and use energy efficiently. Your mind will wake up feeling rested and energized, your workouts will feel easier, and your body will feel more resilient.
Less soreness and faster injury healing
You know that deep soreness and burning you feel in your muscles after an intense workout? That’s all thanks to tiny muscle tears and the build-up of a chemical called lactic acid.
Don’t worry, these mini “traumas” are normal and part of what helps your muscles grow stronger over time. Still, having painfully sore muscles is no fun (and makes keeping up with your workout routine pretty uncomfortable).
During sleep, your body’s growth hormones stimulate cell regeneration and tissue repair. This speeds up your body’s uptake of lactic acid and rebuilds your muscles faster.
But what if you’re dealing with something more serious than post-workout soreness, such as an injury or chronic pain? Sleep matters even more. Healing an injury takes a vast amount of energy, resources, and rest. With adequate sleep, you’ll have a better chance at a quick and complete recovery and reduce your risk of future injuries.
Enhanced drive and motivation
Maintaining a healthy workout routine requires a healthy dose of motivation. Motivation you just don’t have when you feel tired, drained, and foggy-headed from sleep deprivation.
By prioritizing sleep, you set your mind and body up for fitness success. The research even backs it up. Studies find that those who get an adequate amount of sleep per night and more likely to stick to their exercise routine.
Better sleep equals better performance. Sleep gives your body the power to recover faster, make more energy, and move with ease. When you’re well-rested, you’ll be able to take on more challenges during your workouts and strive for higher goals.
Trouble Sleeping? Try These Tips to Refresh Your Sleep Routine
Understanding that sleep is essential for your health and fitness is one thing. Actually getting great quality rest is another. If you’re someone who struggles to fall asleep or stay asleep through the night, these tips can help put you on the path to dreamland.
Create a screen-free bedtime routine.
Our sleep-wake cycle is closely related to the amount of light and stimulation our brains are exposed to.
But there’s a problem. We tend to spend all day and night on our bright, blue-light-emitting devices. They stimulate our brains, raise our cortisol levels, and prevent the proper rise of melatonin we need at night to feel sleepy.
Instead of scrolling or watching TV, get into the habit of practicing relaxing nighttime rituals that don’t involve a screen (like journaling, baths, or light reading) at least an hour before bed.
Meditate before bed.
You hop into bed at a reasonable hour, close your eyes, and wait to drift off. Except your brain won’t stop chattering. Meditating before bed is one of the most effective ways to calm anxious thoughts and prepare your brain for rest.
Try our Sound Meditation for Sleep or Star Gazing Meditation to quiet your mind and fall asleep with ease.
Time your workout right.
Timing matters when it comes to exercising and sleep hygiene. Take on your more intense exercises in the morning or early afternoon. You’ll gain a boost of energy that will carry you through the day, and still leave you feeling tired at night.
If you want to work out in the evening, opt for more restorative exercises that won’t overstimulate your body and mind before bed. Try a Calming Class or After Work Wind Down Stretch.
Sweet Dreams for a Healthier Sweat
From more effective workouts to a more resilient body, sleep is an essential part of recovery that we all need. Beyond the fitness benefits, you deserve to get quality rest that makes you feel good in every aspect of your life. Find classes that support a healthy sleep cycle and a well-rounded workout routine in The Pilates Class library!
- Sleep is a crucial, yet often looked-over, aspect of our overall fitness. It’s simple – our bodies work better when we are well-rested.
- When you consistently reach 8 hours of sleep per night, you will experience easier and more energetic workouts and faster progress.
- During sleep, your body’s growth hormones stimulate cell regeneration and tissue repair. This speeds up your body’s uptake of lactic acid and rebuilds your muscles faster, meaning less soreness post workout.
- If you have trouble sleeping, try: decreasing your screen time at least one hour before bed, start meditating to quiet your mind and complete your high intensity workouts in the morning, saving calming exercises for the evening.
Find classes that support a healthy sleep cycle and a well-rounded workout routine in The Pilates Class library!