Peppiina Räisänen 1.7.2017
You need energy to beat your goals. Lots of it. You can get loads of energy from a healthy lifestyle, and for quite some time, the focus of health and wellness has been on two things. Eating healthy has become a huge trend and healthy fast food, for example, is all over the place at the moment. Sharing pictures of a healthy smoothie bowls and all kinds of superfoods in general is a status symbol of sorts. Exercise has been a big trend too, not to even mention this huge fitness boom that’s got everyone training like crazy. However, there’s just one thing missing.
Sleep has been the forgotten element. Bragging about how little sleep we got has been sadly common – a sign of strength, so to say. “I can do so much during a day when I’m not wasting my time by sleeping”, “Sleep is for babies”, “I’ll have time to sleep in the grave!” It’s like getting a good night’s sleep is lame. Like the real heroes are those who barely sleep at all and are on the move 24/7, whether it’s work, gym, or going out with friends. However, if sleep is taken out of the equation, you don’t have a winning combo in your hands. All of these three elements are intertwined. If you really want results, you need all three elements. Let me explain why.
The way you eat affects your sleep and your sleep affects the way you eat. What you eat in the evening can affect your sleep quality. Too heavy and greasy foods give your body a whole lot of digesting to do, which can poorly affect your sleep. The funny thing is, if you don’t get good quality sleep, you’re more likely to eat unhealthy. So basically, a poor choice follows another, and it’s a vicious cycle. Then of course, without eating properly, you won’t have enough energy to exercise, let alone get stronger. And that’s how we get to the next element.
The time and intensity of your workouts affect your sleep either in a positive or negative way. Your sleep affects your recovery and thus either improves or impairs your performance. It’s all up to you what the end result is. Shortly said, exercise can help you sleep better and sleep can help you get faster and stronger. Without enough sleep, you aren’t giving your body and mind enough time to recharge. Sleep is the time when your muscles get stronger by rebuilding themselves after you wear them down in a workout. It’s also the time when your brain sorts through all the new information you’ve faced during the day. If you can’t get your head in the game or feel sluggish, you need sleep.
You need sleep to succeed. Sleep has such a huge effect on so many different things all the way from immune response to stress levels. Even though athletes are our main target group, sleep is crucial for everyone’s health. Including yours. Athletes need sleep to recover so they can improve and reach their goals. The rest of us need to recover from the day before to perform at our best on the following day. American insurance giant Aetna pays its employees to sleep. Why? Because sleep has a huge effect on employees’ work performance and wellbeing. With sufficient sleep, they’re more present, productive, creative and focused, which is a win-win for both the company and the employees.
In conclusion, sleep, eating and exercise are all connected to one another. Combine healthy food, exercise and quality sleep and you’ll feel much more energized every day. Guaranteed. And that’s the magic combo you’ll need to beat your goals.
Hall, A. 3/2015, Huffpost 5 Ways Your Sleep Affects What You Eat
DiGiulio, S. 4/2016, Huffpost Why This Company Is Paying Its Employees to Sleep More