What Does Lack of Sleep Really Do to Us? - Accomplishing Goals pt. 3

There is only 15.5 weeks left until my race, and I am struggling to get my workouts in because of an increase of responsibilities at home and work. If you have been following my progress this past week has not been good.  I ran twice and trained once.

I don’t know how other people fit so much in a day.  The constant go go go, to get everything done and still have energy to do more.  As i am going through my training process i am having a difficult time fitting my workout in as other things in my life need to take precedence.  So I asked some of my athletic friends  and weekend warriors how they do it.  What I noticed is a common theme among them which is, "I get up early, sometimes as early as 4:30 am to workout, run or train".  First of all I don’t know how anyone gets up that early and can go right into “workout” mode. 

I need time for my body to wake up, not to mention if I didn’t go to bed until 11:30 , how much energy am I going to have to put into my workout.  And so I decided to search a little how lack of sleep effects us.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, most adults should be getting 7-9 hours.  This allows our body and mind to restore and replenish for the next day.  When we cut down the amount of time we sleep we are disrupting the bodies ability to repair damaged muscle tissue, memory consolidation, and release the hormones that regulate growth and appetite.

During “deep sleep” The pituitary gland produces a hormone, known as the human growth hormone, responsible for rebuilding damaged tissue, converting fat into fuel, and keeps our bones strong.  When we sleep less, we produce less of this hormone making it more difficult for us to recover from our workouts. 

Lack of sleep has also been linked to an increase in appetite and weight gain. Insufficient sleep causes changes in the hormones responsible for increasing our appetite and telling us when we are full. If we are tired throughout the day we tend to feel more hungry and consume more energy.  It has also been shown that not sleeping enough effects our metabolic rate and production of insulin.

Sleep is something we take for granted, and when we are working out so hard to reach that finish line or to get fit, it may be something we need to fix to help us achieve our goal.   

- Donna