According to the National Sleep Foundation there are three key factors to losing weight: diet, exercise, and sleep. When you think about extreme fitness you envision hard workouts, and if you expect to see maximum results you understand you have to maintain a healthy diet. However, sleep is an underrated key factor in losing weight.
Sleep should be intricately woven with diet and exercise. Your body needs time to rejuvenate. Have you worked out and eaten healthy only to get frustrated at your lack of weight loss? According to Dr. Van Cauter of the National Sleep Foundation,people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to have bigger appetites. This is due to their leptin levels falling, which increases your appetite (leptin is an appetite regulating hormone).
Exercising too closely to bedtime directly affects your quality of sleep. Your body temperature rises when you exercise and can take up to six hours to begin to drop. It is therefore recommended that you exercise no more than three before bedtime because it has been proven that your body needs to cool off in order to get a good night’s sleep. The recommended minimum amount of quality sleep you should get is seven hours. If you have bad sleep habits going to the gym is not a good source of energy for long periods of time. According to Kenneth Wright, PhD, an assistant professor of integrative physiology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, “Going to the gym when you’re tired will only improve your alertness for a short time.”
To get the most out of your extreme fitness program, remember to add quality sleep along with a healthy diet. You may just exceed all your fitness expectations.