Today’s society celebrates “the hustle.”  We are encouraged to drive and push and make sacrifices to accomplish our goals, and, unfortunately, sleep is often the first thing to go.  At times it feels like there is no way to get everything done while getting 8 hours of sleep per night.  Sometimes 6 or 7 hours per night seems like a luxury! 

But this is simply not true.  Sleep and productivity are NOT mutually exclusive.  There is a way to accomplish what you want, while also getting enough sleep and getting/maintaining the body you want!  Below you will find information to help you become efficient with your sleep, so you can maximize your work productivity, personal well-being, and fitness goals.  

Sleep Can Make or Break Your Fitness Goals 

The majority of the clientele we work with at Stark is focused on fat loss, as are many people. However, most people are missing one of the key aspects of accomplishing this goal. Yep, you guessed it, SLEEP!  

Research shows that when engaging in a weight loss program, those that sleep well (defined as 7-8 hours per night), are going to have more weight loss come from body fat.  Whereas, those that get insufficient sleep (defined as 6-7 hours per night) will have a larger portion of weight loss come from lean mass. 

READ THAT AGAIN! 

A reduction of sleep by 1 hour per night can be the difference in whether or not you’re able to body fat, as opposed to simply losing weight. 

Have you ever thought about what the body does when you are sleeping? It’s the time when the body heals and recovers from all the activity that happened during our busy days. Sleep is hugely beneficial for building/maintaining lean muscle mass through the rebuilding of broken down cells and tissues. 

That means that sleep has a real impact on your body composition!  You may be doing everything right: working out 3-4 times per week, eating healthy, limiting your alcohol intake, and managing your stress.  But unless your sleep is optimized, you will never be as lean or “shredded” as you could be! 

Health-related problems from sleep deficiency  

To inspire you (or scare you) into getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Dr Matthew Walker, the director of the Center for Human Sleep Science at Berkeley, points out that lack of sleep (six hours or less) can have serious consequences.  

Sleep deficiency is associated with the following problems: 

  • Concentration and memory 
  • Immune function and may even shorten your life span 
  • Sleep deprivation is linked with a number of diseases, and may even contribute to a decreased lifespan 

Walker states, “every disease that is killing us in developed nations has causal and significant links to a lack of sleep. So that classic maxim that you may have heard that you can ‘sleep when you’re dead,’ is actually mortally unwise advice!”  Great minds think alike 🙂 

How Will I Know If I’m Getting Enough Sleep 

Great question! Luckily today we have so many smart apps and devices to help us gain control of our sleep. If you have a smartwatch like an Apple Watch or a Fitbit, those devices can measure your sleep throughout the night and give you data so that you can track and measure improvements. Personally, I use the Oura ring, and I would definitely recommend giving that a try! 

References: 

  • Miller, Sara G. 1 In 6 Americans Takes a Psychiatric Drug. 13 Dec. 2016, www.scientificamerican.com/article/1-in-6-americans-takes-a-psychiatric-drug/. 
  • Sleep. 2018 May 1;41(5). doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsy027.  
  • Miller, Sara G. 1 In 6 Americans Takes a Psychiatric Drug. 13 Dec. 2016, www.scientificamerican.com/article/1-in-6-americans-takes-a-psychiatric-drug/.