Why Is Sleep Important for Improving Fitness?

sleep and fitness

Proper nutrition, regular exercise, and adequate sleep go hand in hand to provide you good health and a fit body. If any of these is lacking in your fitness regime, you may not be able to achieve your goals perfectly. Usually, people tend to lose motivation when the weight loss or muscle building goals are not attained without thinking about what else they could do to improve their fitness. Surprisingly, most of them tend to ignore sleep as an essential factor in determining the overall health of a person.

According to The New York Times, sleep is essential to improve your fitness. It is not only the duration but also the quality of sleep that helps in achieving fitness. Let’s learn about the factors that affect the success of fitness and understand the role of sleep in helping you attain the body of your dreams.

Factors That Affect the Success of Fitness

Fitness is something that can’ t be achieved just by following a specific diet and exercise for a while. For having a great body, you have to consider how each of these factors is put together to work to improve your health. Here is how can obtain maximum results by incorporating all of the following ways to attain fitness.sleep and fitness - sleeping chinese girl

#1. Nutrition

No wonder, nutrition is the key to a healthy body. To lose a considerable weight, you must focus on losing the accumulated fat while improving your muscle mass. Starving your body may reduce nutrient levels in the body and raise many unwanted complications. Foods rich in protein should constitute the significant part of your diet. It will help in providing energy and build muscle mass.

Your meal should also comprise a large portion of fresh fruits and vegetables to obtain the recommended dosage of essential vitamins and minerals. Consuming foods that are high in nutrition such as raw honey may foster good health while helping you with weight loss. It contains about 80 substances, which includes essential vitamins, minerals and trace elements that help in improving health besides reducing inflammation.

#2. Exercise

Sedentary lifestyles may become a significant barrier to attaining the perfect body. It not only affects your physical health but can be harmful to your mental health too. Exercise helps the body to release happy hormones that keep your active and energetic all day long. It increases flexibility, improves bone health while reducing the risk of many life-threatening diseases such as high blood pressure and stroke. Incorporating an exercising regimen at least three times a week may foster beneficial results in maintaining an ideal weight.sleep and fitness - stretching

Regardless of your age, sex and physical condition, it is recommended to indulge in exercise according to their ability. If you do not want to hit the gym, just as little as 30 minutes of brisk walking may have a drastic effect on your body.

#3. Mindset

Having a fixed mindset to stick with your fitness regimen is as important as setting your goals and following it. If you do not have a positive mindset, you may deviate from the path resulting in poor health.

Try to set realistic goals so that you can see results faster and get motivated to continue. A fitness buddy having similar fitness objective may provide you the needed push when you are in need. Choose exercises that you can quickly do. This will help you to stick to it for longer. Prepare your pantry by removing all the items that are detrimental to your health such as processed food, oily and spicy food and sugary confectionary.

Invest in a juicer to squeeze out fresh juices for consumption. If you don’t have time to extract fluids, get a fruit infuser water bottle to enjoy the goodness of fruits effortlessly. It will not only help you to stay hydrated but is an excellent way of having a mindset of adding fruit nutrients to your body.

#4. Sleep

In addition to eating healthy meals, regular exercise and a positive mindset to continue it for longer, sleep is one thing that is equally important yet are often ignored by most of the fitness freaks. When we do not get a proper sleep, we feel dazed, confused and lazy. Our metabolism acts in a similar way when the body is sleep deprived.

According to an abstract published by NCBI, there is a bidirectional relationship between sleep and exercise or physical activity. Poor sleep may result in lack of physical activity affecting your fitness. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep for an adult.sleep and fitness - sleeping guy

The Role of Sleep for Fitness

Well, sleep plays a vital role in determining your fitness. Our body produces the growth hormone during sleep that helps in growing the muscle mass, but that is just one of the benefits. It also reduces the storage of fat in the body as well as excellently promotes fat loss. Here is how sleep is so essential for losing weight and improving fitness.

Improves Functioning of Insulin

Sleep deprivation may result in an imbalance in the use of the hormone insulin by the body. Insulin is responsible for assisting the fat cells in eliminating fatty acids and lipids from the blood and prevents the storage of fat in the body. When there is a disruption in the working of the insulin due to lack of sleep, the body becomes resistant to the insulin.

As a result, more insulin is produced. Eventually, the release of excess insulin leads to accumulation of fat in the body, especially in the liver. So if you are aiming for fat loss, it becomes crucial to sleep for recommended hours and merely reduce such hormonal stress.

Reduces Cravings

Believe it or not, sleep is directly related to hunger and may make you crave more for food, increasing your calorie intake. Less sleep disrupts hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin, which is responsible for inducing hunger. To lose weight, these hormones should be efficiently controlled.

Low levels of leptin and high levels of ghrelin (common when you sleep less) induce hunger and cravings. So, it is essential to have a sound sleep so that your body can maintain a balance between these hunger hormones and prevent unwanted consumption of food.sleeping couple

Sleep Helps Muscle Recovery

Working out in the gym to build your muscles is not enough to achieve a toned body. Recovery time is equally essential to reap the benefits of a workout. When we exercise, our muscles get torn and damaged. Rest helps in repairing those muscles during sleep and makes them stronger than before.

In this way, you build more muscles and reduce a considerable amount of fat from your body. In lack of sleep, your muscles may undergo irreversible damage and increase the risk of injuries. Besides, if you do not get adequate sleep, your performance is affected in the gym.

Tips for Improving Sleep Quality

Because of the above facts, it is clear that sleep is essential for fitness. In addition to the duration of sleep, you must get a quality sleep to prepare your body for the required fat loss. There are several ways to improve the sleep quality such as:


Just as rest is essential to reap the benefits of exercise, working out itself may aid in improving the sleep quality. A journal published by NCBI reveals that exercise helps in improving sleep quality significantly.

Relax Before Bedtime

Create a relaxing routine when you are near bedtime. It will prepare your mind and body to fall asleep quickly. Try deep breathing and meditation to reduce stress, excitement, and anxiety.

Check What You Eat Before Bed

sleep and fitness - girl checks the fridgeConsuming alcohol and caffeine before going to bed may reduce the quality of sleep. Heavy food, oily and spicy food may also make you wake up at midnight. Instead, having a light snack at least 45 minutes before falling asleep may help you sleep better.

Create a Comfortable Bedroom Environment

Always separate your bedroom from the rest of your house to have a profound and uninterrupted sleep. Make sure there is no noise, bright lights or temperature fluctuations when you prepare for sleep. Sleep on a comfortable pillow and supportive mattress.


Sleep is an essential factor that determines your fitness besides diet and exercise. By incorporating a habit of 7 hours of sleep each night, you provide your body the maximum time for rest and recovery needed for the functioning of the various processes that directly affect weight loss and fitness. Still, sleep is often overlooked when it comes to creating a healthy routine. By prioritizing sleep over other things and following the simple tips on improving the quality of sleep, you will be able to attain a more robust body and a focused mind.

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