A riddle: Bob and Bill are roommates and best friends.They eat the same food, have similar jobs and they recently started doing the same workouts together, too. The only difference between them, it seems, is sleep schedules: While Bob gets a solid 7 to 8 hours each night, Bill has an erratic sleep schedule and doesn't get enough shut-eye.
Can you guess why their shared exercise and nutrition regimen is successful for Bob and not for Bill?
The only difference is sleep. While Bill and Bob are made up, the results of their circumstances are aren't. If you want your lifestyle changes to reflect in the way you look and feel, sleep is the key.
As The Washington Post pointed out this week, a growing body of research points to the fact that skimping on sleep can lead to weight gain, an increase in injuries and a decrease in testosterone levels, which is often associated with depression and bone density loss.
During deep sleep, the body's muscles recover, repairing tissue torn during workouts, and the brain creates memories and clears out toxins. Without these processes, you're exercising and feeding a faulty machine.
“Many people think you build [muscle] in the gym, but you actually build when you sleep,” Chirjeev Sawhney, a personal trainer and fitness manager at a Gold’s Gym in Arlington, told the Post. “It’s when you repair that broken tissue that you get stronger,” Sawhney said.
If the fact that sleep makes your physical fitness more achievable isn't enough, consider its many other benefits: Quality sleep can make you better at your job. It can extend your lifetime. It'll make you more likable. It's time to get the sleep you deserve. You have nothing to lose (except maybe a few pounds).
H/T Washington Post