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Sleeping: The Easiest Workout Of The Day
March 14, 2012

National Sleep Awareness Week concluded this past week, an event created to highlight the need for obtaining a sufficient amount of sleep every night. For those with an active lifestyle, this requirement becomes even more crucial as the body attempts to rebuild muscle following your workout.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults average between seven and nine hours. Unfortunately 37.1% of adults report regularly sleeping less than seven hours per night.

Those reporting less than seven hours of sleeping on average during a 24-hour period are more likely to suffer from a number of problems than those getting enough sleep, including self-reporting anxiety, mental and physical distress, and even depression.

As you push yourself hard at the gym, it is critical to take it easy when you are away. Allowing your body sufficient time to recover from your past workout. Not only does it provide your muscles time to rebuild, but can also help you lose more fat. Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat than dieters who were sleep deprived. While both groups lost similar amounts of total weight, 56 percent of the weight loss for the well rested group was in fat while the sleep deprived group lost more in muscle.

If you would are one of the millions of Americans that suffer from sleep related problems, these suggestions might help:

  • Set A Bedtime: You might not be 10 anymore, but setting a bedtime every night cues your body that it should be falling asleep.
  • Bed Is Bed: Instead of watching tv or reading to wind down in bed, do so on the couch. Getting into bed will trigger that it is time to sleep.
  • No Caffeine: Try to resist coffee or colas six to eight hours prior to sleep. It is considered a stimulant drug for a reason!

Getting a good night's rest should be the easiest workout you complete each and every day, and hopefully is the one where the "no pain, no gain" adage gets thrown out the window!

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