Sleep May be Why You Can’t Stick to Fitness Goals
Working out consistently requires a combination of discipline, resolve, time and energy. Many people think their lack of self-control is the only problem, but there is one key lifestyle habit many people often neglect: sleep.
The body needs rest in order to recharge and run everything properly. When people routinely skimp on sleep, it can cause a litany of problems – both short-term and long-term. In terms of the immediate impact, poor sleep results in low-energy and stamina.
Most people don’t want to hit the gym when they feel exhausted and unmotivated. Sustained bouts of sleepless nights can hurt your metabolism and mental health – both of which make it harder to stick to fitness goals.
A new study from the American Heart Association analyzed 125 overweight adults participating in a weight-loss program and measured their sleep habits. Researchers found that participants who slept better were more likely to follow through on the exercise components of the program than those who didn’t sleep as well.
“Focusing on obtaining good sleep — seven to nine hours at night with a regular wake time along with waking refreshed and being alert throughout the day — may be an important behavior that helps people stick with their physical activity and dietary modification goals,” said Dr. Christopher Kline, associate professor of health and human development at the University of Pittsburgh. “A previous study of ours reported that better sleep health was associated with a significantly greater loss of body weight and fat among participants in a year-long, behavioral weight loss program.”
Dr. Michael A. Grandner, director of the Sleep and Heath Research Program at the University of Arizona, added: “Studies like this really go to show that all of these things are connected, and sometimes sleep is the thing that we can start taking control over that can help open doors to other avenues of health.”
“There are over 100 studies linking sleep to weight gain and obesity, but this was a great example showing how sleep isn’t just tied to weight itself, it’s tied to the things we’re doing to help manage our own weight,” Grandner continued. “This could be because sleep impacts the things that drive hunger and cravings, your metabolism and your ability to regulate metabolism and the ability to make healthy choices in general.”