By now you’ve probably heard that getting enough sleep is a key component of mental and physical health. But did you know that getting at least 7-8 hours is not just ideal, but ESSENTIAL for proper functioning? Keep reading to find out why.
The Sleep Repair Cycle
As adults, it’s sometimes difficult to shut off our minds. It always seems like there’s so much to do. And for those who are working early morning shifts, the temptation to stay up is just too juicy! But here’s the thing… while you’re sleeping, your body cycles through a process of recovery, which gets longer and longer throughout the night. Oxygen and nutrients are delievered to your muscles helping them re-hydrate and repair. The more you sleep, the more efficiently this process can occur.
The Consequences of Skimping on Sleep
The less sleep you get, the less recovery time for your body. Make under-sleeping a habit and your body is will never be able to fully recuperate from the wear and tear you take it through each and every day. This includes brain function. Long story short… getting any less than 7 hours of shuteye inhibits the ability of neurons to fire. This may show up as…
- inability to focus
- slow reaction time
- inability to think creatively, and more….
…all of which will hamper your ability to lead safe, workout sessions.
The Benefits of Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
You may think you don’t have TIME for sleep, but if you want to truly be successful as a fitness instructor, you must MAKE time. When you are properly rested, the benefits include, but are not limited to the following:
- balanced hormones
- higher levels of creativity
- more energy
- lower levels of stress
- higher levels of happiness
- increased productivity
With these benefits combined, you will not only feel more satisfied with your life and work, but also more comfortable and confident in your own skin.
How to Improve Your Sleep Habits
Here are 3 quick tips to get you started on the road to better sleep.
- Aim for at Least 7 Hours Per Night – Know what time you need to go to sleep by in order to get a full 7-8 hours of sleep. Make it your goal to hit that metric every night.
- Turn Off Devices Well In Advance – The light in your device stimulates the release of hormones that will prevent you from falling alseep, so it’s best to start shutting them off well before you plan to go to sleep. The National Sleep Foundation suggests you give yourself anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. The longer the better.
- Maintain a Consistent Exercise Routine – Studies show that exercise helps to improve sleep. The reasons for this vary from the release of sleep promoting hormones (melatonin) at night to the simple fact that exercising tires you out. At the end of the day, you’ll be ready to tuck in.
So tell me… now that you know how essential sleep is to your life and career as a fitness instructor, will you make it a priority? Let me know in the comments below!