Sleep: A condition of body and mind, which typically recurs for several hours every night, in which the nervous system is inactive, the eyes closed, the postural muscles relaxed, and consciousness practically suspended. The definition of the word when typed into my Apple MacBook. If only it was as blissful as that definition for every one of us.
My name is Lloyd Grieve and I am a Personal Trainer. Its safe to say its something I have always wanted to do and when I completed my BSc in Nutrition and Exercise Science I could not wait to start working in an industry which is so misleading.
Clients usually ask how to get 6-pack abs? How to strengthen lower pack? How to reduce lower back pain? How to lose bingo wings? How to lose body fat around my lower stomach in a month? Etc. Everyone has their mind on the “quickest” way, which then leads to people investing in anti-oxidants, fat burners, protein shakes or items such as back supports to try reduce their back pain. These are all micro factors where people should focus on main factors, like calorie intake, water intake, physical activity, sleep etc.
The benefit of sleep has been researched for years with results showing it leads to healthy brain function and emotional well-being. Yet with this information out there people are still focusing on micro factors such as supplementation gimmicks or quick fat loss pill scams. This is the number one message I get across to ALL of my clients. The basics of eating well, exercising enough and SLEEPING will lead to greater and more sustainable benefits then these supplementation gimmicks or quick fat loss pill scams.
So lets get down to the consequences of lack of sleep. There are numerous studies that show there is a correlation between constant insufficient sleep and serious health issues such as heart problems and obesity. These poor sleeping patterns cause a weakened immune system, which again can lead to these detrimental health issues.
Lack of sleep is also related to increased lower back pain (which is mainly strength related). So, these simple downsides can hinder your day-to-day activities such as walking or going to the gym. Furthermore, lack of sleep has been linked with mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
My point here is not to scare you if you have sleeping issues but to make you aware of the bigger picture and to focus on lifestyle factors such as sleep. But Lloyd, I don’t care about these psychological issues or these internal negative effects on the body, I just want to lose weight and decrease body fat!
Studies show that sleep loss and irregular sleeping patterns lead to an increased risk of weight gain!! Why? There are two factors here to discuss, one is behavioral and the other is physiological; which will be discussed in the next blog.
The more tired and fatigued you are has an effect on your behavior. This may lead to simply not having the energy to cook a healthy meal, go out to shop for healthy food or more importantly not enough energy to take part in light physical activity, never mind intense!
The next time you want to lose weight/body fat or even ease muscular discomfort, take a minute to focus on the main factors such as sleep, instead of investing into supplements or gimmicks.
Take note, Lloyd.
About our guest fitness blogger
I studied at Antwerp International School in Belgium and graduated with an International Baccalaureate. I then studied at the University of Central Lancashire where I received a 2:1 in a bachelors of science degree in Nutrition and Exercise Science; specializing in Personal Fitness Training.