Do you work out late at night or early in the morning? Are you sacrificing a few hours of sleep for exercise?
If your answer to the above questions is yes, you need to stop taking sleep for granted and make it a priority.
I understand that it can be challenging to stay fit and healthy if all you are doing the entire day is work/college/school. It is a good thing that you have realized the importance of staying fit and healthy.
However, doing so at the expense of sleep will lead you into more trouble than you think. Whatever your fitness goals are–whether you wish to lose weight, get a lean body, or build muscle– you will only achieve them by getting proper sleep.
People don’t make physical progress when they work out, they grow when they recover from a workout. Interestingly, the process of recovery takes place during sleep.
How Sleep Affects Your Workout
Now that you know how important it is to get a good night of sleep a day before you go to the gym or engage in an exhaustive physical activity, it would benefit you to learn more about the adverse effects of sleep deprivation. Trust me, you don’t want to end up injured or deflated after a workout session.
A recent study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise says that skipping a night of sleep results in low cognitive performance and increased risk of failure (in whatever tasks you are involved in) the next day. Although there is not much evidence to prove the effects of sleep deprivation on the neuromuscular function of a person.
Furthermore, there is a shortage of research on this topic, so studying and analyzing this paper is quintessential. A team of researchers called upon 12 healthy male athletes aged between 28-40. The participants had 11-20 years of endurance sports experience, and they trained 5-8 times a week.
For the next several weeks, their sleep patterns were observed with advanced monitoring systems like the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Horne–Ostberg Morningness–Eveningness questionnaire, and many more. Along with the measurement of usual sleep parameters, physical performance indicators (like femoral nerve stimulation, knee extensor force, etc.) were also included.
As already stated in the opening paragraph, the participants who went without sleep for a whole night showed decreased cycling time to task failure (meaning, they gave up on a task earlier than those in the control group). Moreover, going sleepless the whole night does not affect your mind as much you think, although some cognitive functions do get affected (this is why some students can do well in a test by pulling an all-nighter).
3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Workout on No Sleep
1) You Are More Likely to Get Injured
Along with not allowing your core muscle groups to heal and recover properly, sleep deprivation also diminished your ability to think clearly and make correct decisions. Instead of wrapping up the workout session after a set time, you are more likely to carry on and get injured in the process. This is mainly a result of your brain’s inability to process the signals sent by your body.
2) You Don’t Want to Spend Time With Your Gym Mates While You Are Groggy and Irritated
For many of us, the buddies that we make at a gym, yoga class, or CrossFit training area mean a lot to us and are an integral part of our life. Why would you present an unattractive and tired version of yourself when they are looking up to you for inspiration and motivation. Showing up at a gym with no sleep can make you socially repugnant.
3) You Haven’t Allowed Your Muscles to Recover and Regenerate From the Last Workout
When we sleep, the body goes into a passive state where most of the energy is utilized for repair and maintenance of various bodily functions. This is also the time when the brain releases growth hormone– a hormone that stimulates cell reproduction and regeneration.
By skipping a night of sleep, you are not allowing the muscles to recover and regenerate from the damage incurred during the last workout.
The three points mentioned above sum up this post in the most concise manner. Skipping a night of sleep not only affects your body but can also have social repercussions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that sleep-deprived drivers were responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013. I hope you are getting the point.