I surveyed 1000 people to find out what they thought were the most important components involved in sculpting a lean, muscular physique. The results are as follows:
The results were astonishing, with 31% of respondents claiming that Twilight: Breaking Dawn was the most important component of their fitness, and only 4% of respondents claiming That sleep helped them in any way. Obviously, these results don’t correlate with science.
You Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep.
The average American sleeps for 6.6 hours per night. This seems slightly ridiculous when one takes into account all the marvelous benefits that sleep offers. From boosting your immune system, regulating your hormones, and allowing your body to heal from the demands you place on it during the day, your workout, your golf game, etc. Sleep might be one of the most beneficial things you can do to improve your physique and your health.
Saying “I’ll pass” on sleep in order to catch up on some good youtube videos is akin to walking into a mansion filled with models, top shelf liquor and free bacon, but wandering into the basement to play HALO on the original xBox instead. Not a good choice…
When you don’t sleep, or don’t sleep enough, your body produces more cortisol, which is the hormone that causes increased fat storage, especially in the abdominal area. For most of you that should be enough to convince you to turn off the Real Housewives of Birmingham marathon you’re watching, and go upstairs to grab some z’s instead. However, for those of you who need more convincing, czec this out. If you are only sleeping less than 5 hours every night, you have a 250% higher chance of getting diabetes, a 45% higher risk of having a good old fashioned heart attack, and a 12% higher risk of death under any circumstance. (source: http://health.usnews.com)
I know that sounds broad, but think about this, you’re out playing with your kids in the woods, all of the sudden BANG. Bear attack. You’re really ready to roll the dice on something that serious? If you want to have any chance of surviving the zombie apocalypse, you better take a nap chief.
My friends over at Crossfit Committed in Prague wrote an entire article dedicated to the idea that human beings aren’t getting enough sleep and we are suffering for it. For a slightly more in-depth look at the benefits of sleep, check out what they have to say on the subject.
One of the best tips they had for getting a good night’s sleep was this:
Sleep in a dark room. This may seem simple on the surface, but it entails getting your room as close to the “pitch-black” caves of our forebears as you can. Folks have mentioned using “light blocking” curtains and turning off ALL electronic devices to eliminate any potential ambient artificial light.
I’ve always found that when I lay down and focus on relaxing every muscle in my face, sleep comes quickly and easily for me. Also, vodka.
Enjoy your naps.