Sleep: the only performance enhancer you need

Fitness & Training Tips
By Jade Loney
Jade Loney

About Jade Loney

I’ve always had a passion for health and fitness (I’m currently studying nutritional medicine.) However, it wasn’t until I started training at Ignite that I fell in love with CrossFit and the awesome community that came with it. CrossFit has helped me reassess what fitness means to me and shifted my focus to performance. The human body continually amazes me with what it is capable of and that fascination is what led me to become a trainer; to help others find their own strength and confidence! I’d love to make it to Regionals one day but even if I don’t, I’ll have enjoyed every step of the chase. If I’m not working I’m usually here training so if you see me on the floor please say hi! I don’t bite that much. 🙂
We all have a rough idea of how much sleep we should be getting, eight hours they say, right? But for most of us, we get up early, we work long hours, we fit in the gym, family time and errands and chores. Sleep can quite often take a back seat on our list of things to do. 
Here are a few super important reasons why you should be making sleep one of your top priorities!
Lack of sleep can have a huge impact on your performance in the gym:
If you get 6 hours of sleep or less, your body’s time to physical exhaustion drops by up to 30%, the ability of your lungs to expire CO2 and inhale oxygen decreases and lactic acid builds up quicker.
The less sleep you get, the lower your peak muscular strength, vertical jump height, and peak running speed.
Lack of sleep can put you at a higher risk of injury:
A study has shown an increase of 60% in probability of injury when comparing people who get 9 hours of sleep a night, to those who get only 5 hours.
Your stability muscles also reach failure earlier when not getting enough sleep. Not ideal when you’re trying to press out a heavy barbell!
Lack of sleep can significantly impact your health:
Insufficient sleep has been linked to bowel, prostate, and breast cancer and is the most significant lifestyle factor for determining whether or not you’ll develop Alzheimer’s Disease.
If you are getting insufficient sleep while dieting, studies have shown that up to 70% of all the weight you lose will come from lean muscle, not fat – your body becomes resistant at giving up fat when it’s underslept!
You should be aiming for at least 7 hours of quality sleep per night. Some helpful strategies to improve the quality of your sleep are:
1. Try to wake up and go to bed at the same time every day.
2. Create a comfortable sleeping environment (pillow quality, room temperature, noise level)
3. Stop using devices 1 hour before bed to reduce your exposure to blue light.
4. Limit alcohol and coffee consumption before bed.
Sweet dreams friends!