We all know sleep is important but why is it then that 45% of Australians report not getting either enough sleep or report having poor quality sleep?
In my job as a personal trainer and coach to over 70 clients only 2 in 10 clients tell me they consistently get eight (8) hours sleep per night and wake up feeling refreshed.
One of the huge problems with this is our body really doesn’t tolerate poor sleep habits well, it’s one of the very reasons we can not go days on end without going to sleep.
So while we can not go days without sleep many of us do go weeks, months, even years without getting the recommended 8 hours due to our work commitments, raising young families, and social commitments, it does come at a cost.
In fact studies have shown even just two (2) weeks of getting only 6 hours sleep per night has a significant neurological effect on the body equivalent to a person who hasn’t slept for multiple days.
With that in mind, and the fact you’re likely reading this because your health, fitness, and overall performance in life is important to you, here are five (5) warning signs that you are not getting enough sleep;
1. You’re Constantly Getting Sick
One of the most common effects of short term sleep deprivation is a decrease in the strength of our immune system. It’s possibly one of the very reasons that when you get a cold or flu your body almost forces you to get sleep so that it can build its self defence system.
Aiming to get a minimum eight (8) hours of sleep a night might be the very thing that saves you time off work, missing out on training or worse missing an important game.
2. You’re Finding It Hard To Lose Weight
While we are well aware that there are many other reasons you might not be losing weight one cause of weight gain that is almost never talked about is that you are not getting enough sleep. Shorter sleep is known to cause negative metabolic adaptations to occur such as the inability to self regulate glucose, and an increase in those hormones that make us feel hungry called ghrelin.
Obviously a by-product of increases in ghrelin throughout our system is we feel the desire to eat more food, possibly even craving more sugary, and salty calorie dense foods. So instead of just thinking you have very little willpower, looking at your overall sleep duration could be the ideal way to flex your willpower muscle and take back control.
3. You’re Constantly Getting Injured
Whether you’re a high performing athlete or just enjoy living an active life there is nothing more debilitating than when you’re injured. Research shows that individuals that sleep less than eight (8) per night are almost two (2) times more likely to get injured than an person who sleeps more than eight (8) hours.
One of the possible leading reasons for this is due to the effects sleep deprivation has on our central nervous system, and motor skills. High risk athletic movements such as changing direction, jumping and landing, and explosive movements are significantly more risky meaning if we are sleep deprived we should reduce or eliminate these high risks until sleep quality and quantity is improved.
4. You’re Finding It Hard To Concentrate
‘Brain fog’ which is the inability to concentrate and retain information is one of the leading signs you are not getting adequate sleep. Each year in America alone the cost of lost productivity to the economy is estimated at 650 billion dollars.
While we often find ourselves working back to get work done and cutting into our sleep time, taking the approach of getting adequate sleep each night might just increase the amount of work we get done in a ‘normal’ work day and decrease the need to work back.
5. Your Moods Are Unpredictable
For whatever reason we have all experienced not getting enough sleep to wake up feeling a little grumpy. Someone asks you a simple question and you react in a moody manner next thing you know they are walking off muttering under their breath ‘someone didn’t get enough sleep last night’.
Lack of sleep can have an effect on the part of your brain that regulates your emotions and decision making which can be detrimental especially if you’re someone who works in roles that rely on your ability to build and maintain relationships such as management, sales, or even teaching.
There are a number of other possible warning signs that you are not getting enough sleep, as you can see not getting enough sleep can have a significant effect on the quality of our lives and the ability for us to maximise our potential. Pay close attention and look out for these five (5) warning signs, it might just be the thing that transforms your life.
Yours In Health & Fitness,
P.S.: Whenever you’re ready… Here are 3 ways I can help you during Melbourne’s latest isolation:
1. Join us for Virtual Group Training.
Isolation is no excuse to put your fitness on hold, we are running daily classes up to 3 times a day to bridge the gap between now and when gym’s re-open. Just click HERE and type “Virtual Group” in the subject line and we will give you the details.
2. Join us for 1v1 training We realise group training is not for everyone, we also know many of you have goals that are specific and personal so you might want a program written specifically for you. Just click HERE and type “Personal” in the subject line and we will get you details.
3. Get a personalised online training program. If you have the motivation but need us to design you a program that works we can design you a fully personalised program in under 24 hours. Just click HERE and type “Online Program” in the subject line, and I’ll get you all the details!