How sleep can boost your fitness

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According to makers of fitness trackers, TomTom, the amount of time we spend sleeping is vital to our health and wellbeing as we spend about a third of our lifetime asleep.

We have four stages of sleep per cycle and each is important for the body to promote the release of growth hormones that help muscle growth, therefore one needs enough time to sleep. With grueling schedules many skate on less than the required seven to nine hours of sleep a day, which can lead to less productivity and increase risk of diseases like diabetes, heart disease and weight-gain and muscle loss.

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Lack of sleep slows down the production of growth hormones in the body, weakening your ability to repair damaged tissues and develop muscle.

Making sure your body gets the rest it needs will put you on the right track toward reaching your fitness goals. Try taking these smarts steps to getting a better night’s sleep:

  • Avoid eating a large meal within an hour before bed-time – it will take you longer to fall asleep on a full stomach because your body needs time to digest the food before you will feel comfortable enough to fall asleep.
  • Switch off before climbing into bed – light-emitting technology has a disruptive effect on sleep, keeping you alert and awake and preventing the production of melatonin which helps you become sleepy.
  • Exercise vigorously during the day- Regular exercise also improves the symptoms of insomnia and sleep apnea and increases the amount of time you spend in the deep, restorative stages of sleep. But even light exercise—such as walking for just 10 minutes a day—improves sleep quality.
  • Meditate – This is a great way to slow down your heart rate, clear your thoughts and prepare the body for rest. Meditation is also helpful in becoming more mindful of your body’s natural rhythm and developing a positive relationship with relaxation and sleep.
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