I was recently involved in a fitness conversation and the importance of sleep came up. This is an important area of fitness and health that is very often neglected.
In our busy lives crammed with over scheduling, proper rest always seems to take a back seat to everything else that consumes our time. When I am training for an Ironman race finding an extra 10-20 hours a week to train, often cuts into hours that should be spent resting. This is not a good policy, and one that i learned to change. You body performs better when it is rested and has time to repair.
It is very difficult to be motivated to workout when we are tired. Being tired can effect our mood and the way we carry ourselves throughout the day. It is suggested that adults need 7-8 hours of quality rest every day, babies 10-14, and children 9-12 hours. Its during this time of rest where the body has and increase in muscle cell growth and repairs itself. This is also the this time that the release of growth hormones occur for proper physical and mental development. Without proper rest the body's immune system can weaken make it easier for us to get ill.
Exercise or hard physical work can help you get a good nights rest. A tired body and relaxed mind will fall off into a deep meaningful sleep quickly. Avoid late bedtimes or late night eating.
Avoid drinking caffeinated beverage after hours.
Always rest in a calm, relaxing, quiet environment.
Avoid a snoring partner.
Avoid a hot room.
These are all factors that can disrupt the body's natural rhythm.
So for a more productive day, and better health, be sure to get your daily dose of a good nights rest.
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