ARTICLE: The Secret to Fitness is in the Bedroom

20 10 2008

In a January 2007 press release by the Better Sleep Council on Canada,  it was reported that only 10% of Canadians think good sleep is critical to fitness, yet nearly 30% admit that a “lack of energy” is the greatest barrier to improving their fitness.  Not surprising considering that in today’s world,  sleep is undervalued and having 8 hours of sleep is considered a luxury of time.

Sleep loss, however, is associated with significant health problems, such as depression, headaches and impaired heart function.  It has been linked to poor concentration, lower productivity and poor work quality –  skills required to work efficiently.  Sleep loss can interfere with memory, reasoning and concentration – skills required when taking advanced learning courses.  Lack of sleep make us irritable and can obviously strain our relationships with co-workers, friends and family.

Sleep Well to Keep Fit

Sleep Well to Keep Fit

Dr. Stacy Irvine, Chiropractor and Fitness Expert on behalf of the Better Sleep Council Canada stated that “regular exercise releases endorphins that relieve stress, and the physical exertion helps our bodies crave rest for a more deep and restful sleep.  The benefits of sleep and fitness are reciprocal”.

Tips to have a good night’s sleep:

  • Unwind. Put any type “work” away, dim the lights and focus on taking deep breaths.  By separating your day’s activities from your sleep, you begin to train your body to relax.  (This is the hardest tip to follow but critical to a good night’s sleep).
  • Be consistent. Try to get up at the same time every morning and go to bed at the same time in the evening, seven days a week.
  • Mattress check. If you sleep better in someone else’s bed, it might be time to get a new mattress.
  • Exercise. Incorporate fitness into your daily schedule; at least 45 minutes a day.  Include cardio, weight training, yoga, sports  and stretching into your weekly activities so that your body and mind remain active during the day and ready to retire at night.

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