There are some important components to fitness such as exercise and eating properly that are critical toward developing a healthy lifestyle. But there is one sleeping giant that is the key to unlocking your fitness goals: A good night’s rest.
And that’s no joke.
Sleep is so important in the sports and fitness world that professional sports teams and leagues are turning to doctors that specialize in athletic performance and recovery. Dr. Timothy Royer, a clinical neuropsychologist and president and owner of Neuropeak Pro, has been working with the NBA for a decade to optimize performance.
Dr. Royer and Neuropeak have identified the significant impact that sleep has on recovery and believe it could make all the difference to reaching your goals.
“In order to achieve fitness goals and sustained health sleep has to be a priority,” Dr. Royer said. “It is the key to health and fitness. Everyone thinks they know about how to recover after a workout with cool downs, icing and recovery shakes. But most people miss the importance of the vital recovery that happens daily within our sleep cycle.”
It can be easy to deprive yourself of sleep. Between work, the kids, dedicating time for the gym, extracurricular activities and more might limit the amount of successful shut eye your body gets each day.
“When we rob ourselves of the proper quantity and quality of sleep, we disrupt this rhythm and our bodies suffer,” Dr. Royer said. “They can suffer in the short-term through waking up feeling sluggish and compromised performance, in the medium-term through decreased levels of strength hormones that keep us strong and healthy, and the long-term as there are strong links between sleep and prevention of diseases such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s.”
So how much sleep should you get to optimize performance and recovery?
The magic number is eight, but if you can carve out enough time to get nine or ten hours under the covers your body will thank you. The deeper you sleep the more REM cycles your brain will experience. This is best for brain recovery.
It is not possible to reach your fitness goals if your body is not properly recovering. Sleep gives your body the opportunity to recalibrate and perform at its highest level.