How Does Sleep Affect by General Performance?
Although it is common wisdom that sleep is important for our overall health, we often downplay the significance by staying up late, not having a regular sleep schedule, or allowing other things to distract us from paying attention to our sleep hygiene.
Physical Recovery and Sleep
If the body is not allowed to rest (in other words, it becomes overused and over-trained), then the body starts running on low fuel and bodily processes start to break down and become inefficient. The body is only a finite source of energy so a lack of rest between workout days will create excess physical, mental, and emotional stress. This can result in the stress response in the body, which then, can have negative effects on the metabolism and sleep, creating an additional energy deficit. As a result of stress symptoms, the body will start trying to conserve energy while seeking out more energy sources through stress eating and slowing down physiological processes.
Metabolism and Sleep
when we don’t allow our bodies to get the right amount of quality sleep, the body and mind become stressed and the metabolism becomes inefficient in using energy. The resulting combination of stress (physiological and emotional) and inefficiencies in trying to regulate bodily processes create additional stress. As previously mentioned, excess stress often leads to emotional eating of sugary and fatty foods, influenced by the stress response. This leads to further havoc on the metabolism.
Cognition and Sleep
Quality, deep sleep is vital for both the declarative (recall) and procedural memory (muscle memory). This is especially true, when there is a lot of complex information and strong emotions that needs to be processed. When we are sleep deprived, it is harder for the brain to focus and receive information. This makes both our thoughts and movements slower. The resulting inefficiencies put additional stress on the body, which in turn, can affect our metabolism and hinder our functioning further.
In addition to the restorative properties that sleep can gives us, it allows the brain to receive information efficiently as well as the ability to consolidate the information that we take in our surroundings. Essentially, sleep is critical for learning. Even when we can cram for tests, our minds will often forget the information unless we make a concerted effort to consolidate the information through a gradual process. Furthermore, this is why our brains tend to get foggy when we don’t have enough sleep and nutrients.
Tips for Good Sleep Hygiene
- Sleep at least seven hours a night
- Avoid large meals near bedtime
- Limit the use of screens 2-3 hours before bedtime
- If your mind and body feel tired, take a break
- Engage in self-care for stress management