Why Getting a Good Night's Sleep is Essential

An athlete's metabolism will work correctly if he or she has had a restful sleep. Stress and other consequences of sleeping poorly are very detrimental for the well-being of a person. Learn more about why getting a good night's sleep is essential.
Why Getting a Good Night's Sleep is Essential

Last update: 15 April, 2020

Human development depends heavily on sleep from the childhood stage, so getting a good night’s sleep is essential. Likewise, during adulthood, the hours of quality rest you get continue to be interconnected with your physical growth, as well as your immune and nervous systems.

Why sleep is essential for athletes

The metabolism is also related to a good night’s rest. Sleeping poorly generates stress, digestive problems and changes in weight, among other problems. It seems that our entire existence is based on the way we sleep.

Sleep and human development

A newborn baby sleeps for 16-18 hours during its first few weeks of life. Specialists understand today that rest allows for tissue, brain, bone structure, and muscle development.

The relationship between rest and development is even more evident when little ones start getting fewer hours of sleep as they grow. This phenomenon doesn’t change in childhood, youth or adulthood. Until the last stages of life, getting a good night’s sleep is essential.

Some medical studies suggest that a lack of rest can lead to serious illnesses. When a lack of sleep affects the circadian cycle and tissue recovery, it can also negatively alter cellular processes

Resting allows you to fully recover

Those who think that sleeping well just allows you to rest on a physical and mental level are wrong. As human beings, we don’t only sleep to replenish our physical and mental energy. In fact, during restful sleep, recovery occurs on a general level. Tissues and fibers regenerate, which involves cellular processes at all levels.

This is why sleep is essential for physical conditioning, muscle development, and athletic performance. Basically, sleep is as much part of your athletic development as your workout. Conversely, those who don’t rest well are more prone to metabolic and muscle development problems.

Studies by researchers from Murcia, Spain have shown that insulin levels and the effect of carbohydrates depend on an athlete’s metabolism. This substance is a fundamental component of the metabolic processes in human beings, particularly in the processing of carbohydrates.

Man sleeping a comfortable bed sleep is essential to your physical performance

It’s not enough to sleep: getting good sleep is essential

All of this information leads to the fact that getting a good night’s sleep is absolutely key to our development in general. For example, people who sleep at least eight hours a day will have optimal metabolism. Simply going to bed late could change this process and affect your metabolism.

In this sense, a night of restful sleep is key to preventing and reducing the risk of developing diabetes or suffering from obesity. In addition, getting insufficient rest can lead to severe heart problems over the years.

The downside to all of this is that the current pace of life limits the hours most people can sleep. The average adult is sleeping a maximum of six and a half hours a day. In general, up until the 1970s, people rested an average of nine hours straight. The increase in popularity of nightlife also takes its toll on our bodies.

Exercise and sleep: an important relationship

As with all the processes mentioned above, the quality of your physical and mental activities depends on your ability to sleep well. Athletes and coaches know this, which is why sleep cycles and rest periods are strictly respected at the professional level.

All athletes pay attention to their resting habits. In addition to resting at least eight hours at night, they take naps during the day. In sports such as soccer, for example, a complete, long-lasting and restorative nap is encouraged.

Additionally, resting doesn’t only involve muscle recovery. In fact, sleep is so important that poor rest can actually affect and worsen your athletic performance. Stress, drowsiness, and other negative effects of insomnia or poor sleep can prevent you from reaching peak performance.

Many sports training and rotation systems understand this reality and focus on making it possible to get proper rest. Whether or not this effort is effective has to do with how well trainers and athletes understand rest and how well they can implement it.

To approach sleep and exercise the right way, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

  • Take daytime rests: an afternoon nap of at least half an hour improves your muscle recovery. Doing this can help reduce the negative consequences in case it is difficult for you to rest properly at night.
Having a light dinner recipe on hand is always convenient just like sleep is essential

  • Exercise depending on how well you’ve rested: if you’ve not slept enough, it’s best not to undertake high-intensity workouts. Even if you’re very worn out, it’s a better idea to invest the hours in resting than in working out. Exercising will only make you more exhausted.

For our last recommendation, consider working out to help you fall asleep. In other words, if you have trouble sleeping, try doing your workouts later in the afternoon. Arriving exhausted from your workout and making a healthy dinner will make it easy for you to fall into a state of serenity and fall asleep.

That being said, this doesn’t work for everyone, and you shouldn’t exercise too late either. As a matter of fact, exercising too late can actually increase your energy and make it very difficult to fall asleep. Remember, in order to perform optimally at the gym, you need to rest optimally. Sleep is essential for your physiological processes, including exercise.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.