Did you know that research has shown that the majority of Americans are sleep deprived?
Shocker, we know.
We live in a society of “the hustle” and measure our success by how many hours we’ve worked during the week. 80 hours is the new 40.
We scroll through social media posts all day long that scream “LET’S GET IT” - followed by way too much time at night of more mindless scrolling - and 5 years later we realize that we don’t even remember the last time we slept through the night.
So let’s close our email tab and take a second to talk SLEEP and the benefits of engaging in sleep.
Sleep might just be one of the most underrated tools to help you control your fitness, and not only that but the benefits that come with getting quality sleep can be an asset to you accomplishing the goals that are most important to you.
#1: SLEEP IMPROVES MENTAL HEALTH
Nearly 50-80% of individuals who are struggling with some kind of mental health concern are also showing up with some sort of sleep deprivation or sleep quality challenge.
Only 10-18% of individuals who are NOT struggling with a mental health concern are also showing up with some sort of sleep deprivation or sleep quality challenge.
So what does this mean?
That individuals who are more likely to be depressed or anxious are also more likely to be struggling with sleep challenges.
Individuals who get more or higher quality sleep are less likely to suffer from mental health problems.
It looks like getting quality sleep is a pretty important thing huh?
So let’s talk WHY that is...
You go through several cycles of sleep throughout the night. When you arrive at your deepest cycle of sleep, your body gets to work on creating hormones and neurotransmitters that help you fight off disease, boost your immunity, and regulate weight and appetite.
When you do NOT get the quality of sleep your body needs and mess up your full cycle, you lose the full capacity to increase your neurotransmitters and stress hormones that directly affect your mood. This happens because you never gave your brain the time it needed (while you are sleeping) to regulate and return itself to its positive baseline.
Over a period of time, this can result in the increase of mental health concerns.
#2: SLEEP IMPROVES YOUR ABILITY TO EXERT PHYSICAL ENERGY
No one likes working out or doing anything physical when we’re exhausted.
Sure you might DO it, but it doesn’t mean you like it...and it might actually be less beneficial.
Once again, improving your sleep has a never ending cycle of benefits.
By simply taking part in movement and exercise, you can impact your mood instantly in a positive manner.
Additionally, when you exercise, you are more likely to engage in good sleep and lifestyle patterns.
When you create a routine of ongoing exercise, you are more likely to have longer term, positive sleep patterns.
In turn, when your sleep is quality, you will feel better physically, emotionally, and mentally because you are giving your brain the time it needs to reset and return to its positive baseline.
When you wake up and feel better physically, you are more likely to engage in movement and exercise.
It’s an endless, positive cycle of feeding your brain and body.
Within the Street Parking community, we host a variety of fitness and nutrition challenges throughout the year, and one of the recurring challenge tasks is to consistently engage in quality SLEEP.
We do this because we know how crucial sleep really is - but we also know that sleep is one of the first things many of us give up for the chance to accomplish our goals or tackle our never ending list of responsibilities. (Don’t even get us started on the sleep deprivation of new parents!)
In order to accomplish your goals more effectively, improve mental health concerns and the overall quality of your life - working toward better sleep is a great place to start.
The writing of this blog was in collaboration with Rachel Young, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Ohio. She is utilizing training information from various sources.