Sleep and Exercise

By Lushwill Rossouw, personal trainer

One third of our life should be spent sleeping. Yes, it might sound like a waste of time but it’s one of the necessities of life. In 1910, the average adult slept 9 to 10 hours a night (over 4000 hours annually). Currently, we are lucky to get 7 hours, for an average of 2555 hours yearly. Our bodies are punishing us for this!

Busy people today often view sleep as expendable. But, both quality and quantity of sleep are related to health problems such as obesity, hypertension and cardiovascular problems. Poor sleep is also related to decreased IQ and irritability.

Not getting enough sleep leaves the body with a reduced ability for muscle repair since sleep is the time when protein synthesis occurs.

Exercising regularly will increase the resting metabolic rate resulting in a more active metabolism. In turn, this will burn more calories – encouraging a more pro-active system in the body itself. The body will therefore require more time to repair and restore itself. This will result in a ‘need’ for more sleep, and could result in a deeper and better quality of sleep.

To reach your full potential (in body and mind) you must embrace the art of sleeping and training. More training will result in better sleeping patterns which in turn will leave you with a fitter and healthier body and mind.

A word of caution, however: one should not train within three hours of bedtime. This could result in over-stimulation, and a difficulty in falling asleep.