You want to stay healthy. How do you do that? By eating well and staying active, of course. Exercise and nutrition are widely recognized as the pillars of a healthy life. Yet, sleep is too often overlooked as another central part of your health. The truth is that sleep is vital to well-being, mood, and living a healthy life for years to come.
A Healthy, Active Lifestyle Requires Good-Quality Sleep
Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Scientists have many theories as to why we sleep. One of the most popular views is the restoration hypothesis. During sleep, necessary restoration of body and brain tissue takes place. Have you ever been told “you’ll feel better in the morning?” Often, it is true! Your body works hard to repair itself while you sleep, so you can wake up and hit the gym, yoga studio, or court the next morning without the aches and pains you went to bed with. Also, sleep deficiency increases the risk of obesity. Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin). If you're sleep deficient, you may have trouble fighting the type of infections that keep you from exercising, because your immune system works hard while you’re asleep.
Sleep and Nutrition Go Hand in Hand
When you don't get enough sleep, your level of ghrelin goes up and your level of leptin goes down. This makes you feel hungrier than when you're well-rested. You probably don’t need a scientific study to tell you this; you have realized it in your own life! When you’re “running on empty” you’re much more likely to choose a burger and fries for lunch over a garden salad or soup. The same burger also makes you much less likely to feel like working out, or doing much of anything. On the flip side, eating healthy is a good way to ensure you’ll get good sleep at night. Spicy and high-fat foods cause indigestion that makes it difficult to reach deep sleep. You’ll wake up tomorrow and start the tired, unhealthy food cycle all over again!
Sleep: An Athlete's Secret for Success
Just as athletes need more calories to fuel their bodies for their sport, they also need more and better quality sleep. Engaging in physical activity like yoga, running, tennis, or cycling puts a lot of demand on muscles and tissues, which is exactly what the body repairs while you slumber. Sleep not only helps your body recover from micro tears and strains, it’s also a sure fire performance booster! According to scientific research, getting more sleep makes you faster, more likely to do high-intensity workouts, and boosts your coordination. Don’t forget, sleep is good for your mental health and any type of training and competition can call for just as much mental strength as physical strength!
Tying it all Together
Each pillar of health plays a unique and complementary role in our health. Sleep, nutrition and exercise are completely intertwined with one another. As a simple example, if we are sleep deprived, we make poor food choices and will most likely opt for a heavy meal instead of a lighter and healthier option. As a result, our athletic performance suffers and our mood takes a serious hit. If sleep never becomes a priority, the cycle continues. On the other hand, if we focus on staying active, getting eight hours of sleep, and eating well, each pillar falls easily into place with the others.
Sleep is a critical piece of any high performer’s routine! This rejuvenating sleep is made possible by spending the night on a premium mattress made by PranaSleep. If you are worried that you are not getting the high-quality sleep your body needs and it is affecting the way you eat and how active you are, come in to a retail partner and try out a premium mattress in-store. After your first night spent on a PranaSleep, you won’t believe how well-rested and refreshed you feel! Restorative bliss, the kind of sleep your healthy lifestyle needs, is a night on a PranaSleep mattress away!