Ep #1 The Importance of Sleep in Sport – Weight Loss
Most, if not all athletes involved in sport and physical activity understand the basic principles of strength development in sport. Many will supplement prior to a high-intensity workout, and many will engage in post-workout recovery. The purpose of this series is to provide readers with fundamental information on the importance of sleep in sport.
It is unfortunate but the importance sleep in sport is largely ignored. Sure, many athletes understand that in order to recover from a tough workout that you need to sleep, yet how many will actually track sleep, monitor deep-sleep cycles and look to optimize the amount of time they sleep – just as they would with their workout regime. In episode 1, we aim to break down the importance of sleep for weight loss.
Sleep and Weight Loss
Sleep is our natural battery pack. Think back to times where you went out, came back at 3 am and woke up at 8 am for work – how much energy did you really have throughout the day? How many times did you eat in order to feel awake?
Lack of sleep can promote weight gain through two major ways – overstimulation of ghrelin, lack of testosterone production.
Ghrelin is your hunger hormone, it tells you when to eat and when you are full. When your body lacks sleep, ghrelin acts up and tells you to eat in order to stay awake and feel energized. This, in turn, can lead to overeating and poor habits. This simple way to stop this is consistent sleep – going to sleep at the same time and waking up at the same time.
Especially in men Testosterone secretions become very important in the overall role of weight loss, muscular advancements, and overall natural growth. Free testosterone is secreted during deep sleep cycles. If you lack numerous deep sleep cycles you will lack testosterone production. This lack of testosterone can lead to weight gain and lack of muscle production.
A 2011 study found that on average “sleep discontinuity was associated with 70% risk of conversion to obesity”.
Without delving excessively into this study we want to make it very clear that just because you lack sleep does not mean you will fall into obesity.
The purpose of this article is to show the importance of great sleep every night – especially when it comes to your weight loss goals. A similar study found that when women engaging in an 18month workout program, users who slept more than 7 hours/night were 33% more likely to lose weight, and keep it off.
The benefits of sleep are hugely underrated. If your goal is weight loss and consistent gains in muscle mass you should aim to sleep more than 8h/night. A very simple way to track your sleep, but please do not rely on these, is to utilize a sleep tracker such as “Android Sleep” for Android users and “SleepBot” for iOS users. Over the course of our sleep in sports series, you will learn about the importance of sleep with regards to muscular strength, recovery, sleep tips and more.