This post is going to have a lot less fact but a lot more truth. I am just going to get real with you. I want to help you understand why sleep is so important based off my own experiences.
Now, I know the importance of getting enough sleep and all of its benefits. However, I had to be reminded of it the hard way. Last night I had a lot of work to do and thought it would be a good idea to just power through. That meant I didn’t get to bed until around 2:30am… even though I had to be up at 5:00am. I have been paying the price all day long. I have been sluggish, sassy and counting down the hours until I could get home. Even though today was a rough day for me and all I wanted was sleep, I couldn’t help but think about what an awful quality of life this is. I felt so bad for the people who live like this every day. And unfortunately, that is a lot of people. Most people do not get the full amount of sleep that is required each night to function at their highest level. When you deprive yourself of sleep your days are controlled by your angry attitude, you are tired and unmotivated and you would rather be in bed than anywhere else. What a terrible way to live. I could run through the all stats with you and tell you what happens to your brain when you don’t get enough sleep, but the thing is, you already know! Sleep is such an important factor to your overall health. If you are not getting enough sleep each night you are setting yourself up for failure. You can try your absolute hardest and work your butt off in life and in the gym but it wont be enough. You will always be playing catch up. I know this from experience.
At one point in my life I was waking up at 4:30am, Working until 1:30pm, Working out from 2:00pm-3:00pm, Driving to my second job until 11:00pm and finally getting to be around 12:00am. And that was on a good day. It was something that I had to do in order to fulfill my responsibilities. I knew it was rough but I just kept telling myself to keep pushing and to take it one day at a time. What I didn’t realize was what a huge tole it was taking on my body, mentally and physically. I kept this up for 3 years. During that time I was eating decent and working out all the time. I had a personal trainer and a team trainer. I have always been a small person but I could not seem to stop gaining weight. I didn’t understand what was going on. Honestly, neither did anyone else because they knew how important health and fitness was to me and that I was working really hard. It was so frustrating but I just kept working hard and told myself eventually it would pay off. Time went on , and it never paid off. Finally I came to a place in my life where I was not having to wake up that early, work all through the day and into the night. I was able to slow down a bit. The first thing that I did was catch up on sleep. Within weeks my life changed drastically. I was a whole new person. I was happier. I was motivated. I was excited about everything. This was the first time that I realized how little sleep I had been getting and what an impact it had on me. Fast forward a few months. I finally started to lose the weight that I had stressed about and people were noticing. They were asking me what I was doing to look so good. It got me thinking, the only thing I was doing different now than I was a few months ago , was sleeping. I was finally on a consistent sleep schedule where I was getting all the rest my body needed. All I needed was to slow down , take care of myself and sleep. Once I did those things my body repaid me by losing the weight and improving my quality of life. I know that was a round about way of helping you understand how important sleep is, but I hope I got my point across. Sleep is key.
Madison Murray is a certified personal training, group exercise instructor, certified sports and exercise nutrition coach and a certified functional strength coach. For more information head to www.madfitaz.com or check her out on instagram at @mmmadisonmurray