anything is possible.
For something so simple it can become really complicated.
Sleep. Rest. It sounds simple enough but we can make it very complicated. It also can become complicated for other reasons that we can’t always control. But we need it to survive and we need it to grow, to realize the benefits we seek.
It is said without sleep we will go mad. Probably. And I do know without sleep we will not allow our body to recover. If you put in hard work exercising and pushing your body to extremes to do the things you want to do, to become that person you want to become, to be something you have dreamed about, then you need to get the sleep, the recovery time your body requires. Sleep is the tool your body uses to repair the damage done, to allow the growth to happen from the punishment you put yourself though.
How do you know you aren’t getting the sleep and recovery time you need? Feeling tired all the time? Getting injured more frequently? Aren’t able to do the things you used to? Exercising seems to be more demanding than before? Irritable more frequently? Feeling lethargic? Losing interest in things? All these things can be due to not getting enough sleep or recovery time.
Sleep gets neglected for many reasons: life gets in the way, we can’t sleep even though we try, work happens. You know why. But just like working out has to be made a priority so does sleep and recovery time. So what do you do?
Identify why it is you are not getting the recovery time you need. Then, address it if you can. I’m hot going to tell you that there is a simple answer. Sometimes there isn’t the answer we want, there isn’t a valid solution. Let’s look at common reasons why we don’t get the recovery time we need and what can be done about it.
- Not getting enough sleep: Go to bed earlier. Done. That’s the solution. Put down the phone, close the laptop and close your eyes. If you need to go to bed at 10pm to get 7 to 8 hour sleep then you need to go to bed at 10pm! I get it! I struggle with this too. Sometimes it seems if I go to bed I’m going to miss something. But that is never the case so relax the mind before hand and ease into it. If 10pm is bedtime, relax and slowdown a half hour before. Don’t do things that require a lot of brain power, don’t do something that could be unsettling, don’t do something stressful right up before bedtime. You will end up laying in bed having these things go through your mind and will never get to sleep.
- Nap: Nothing wrong with having a nap during the day or late afternoon if you need it. Most times if you are tired enough and feel like having a nap, that is your body letting you know you need a nap. So do it and don’t feel guilty about it.
- Can’t sleep: Many reasons for this. If you fall into this category I think you need to analyze why this is. Are you not falling asleep due to stress in your life? Is it a physical reason why? If it’s stress try to address what it is causing you the stress. If you can come to terms with it, or eliminate it then that should help. If it’s a physical reason then maybe you need to see your doctor to help you with this.
Regardless, remember that recovery time and sleep are key elements to physical growth. Both reduce injury, facilitate muscle growth, help increase performance and also help us to deal with stress we encounter in our day to day lives.
If you can’t convince yourself, then let me convince you. Get your sleep and recovery time.
Yours in health,