How Bad Sleep Sabotages Your Workout Goals

 

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How Bad Sleep Sabotages Your Fitness Goals 1. ALTERED METABOLISM. A recent study recruited metabolically healthy, normal-weight subjects and changed their 2. HIGHER CORTISOL LEVELS. Cortisol is the hormone most related to stress — it surges when you’re feeling frazzled, but 3. CHALLENGED GUT.

A lack of sleep can affect your mental strength, meaning it can totally squash your motivation to stay active. From a major lack of energy, to decreased focus, to lower alertness and concentratio. November 4, 2017. 10 Comments. In addition to proper nutrition, hydration and recovery days, sleep can be one of the top factors that can make or break your fitness performance.

In a recent study looking at sleep quality and athletes, researchers noted that people who are in training tend to experience more sleep issues than non-athletes, due to training load and stress. Lack of sleep has also shown to increase cortisol which can cause you to break down muscle and increase your appetite. While we have discussed some of the fitness related concerns with lack of sleep some of effects on your health are much more grim.

Whatever your goals are, bad sleep is a wrench in your machine. Let’s look at what goes on under the hood when we stop sleeping well, and what we can do to get our engine humming again. Sleep and Fat Loss. You may have noticed that not sleeping well has some interesting effects on your appetite. Many people report that they feel hungrier.

On the flip side, not getting enough sleep can actually make exercise feel harder, a study published in the journal Sports Medicine found. (8) Sleep deprivation won’t affect your cardiovascular and. 3. YOUR BLOOD SUGAR TAKES A NOSEDIVE. Even though you’re sleeping, your body still needs calories to repair cells and maintain normal functions like breathing.

During sleep, your body turns to fat to fuel most tissues and to glucose to fuel your brain. Contrary to popular belief, you can’t actually train your body to run on less sleep and anybody who says they can is just plain kidding themselves. The fact is, if you sleep for less than 7-8 hours a night, your mental and physical performance will begin to suffer. Blame biology if.

Sleep Sabotages Gym Time Unfortunately, the disastrous impact spreads beyond diet and into your workouts. No matter what your fitness goals are, having some muscle on your body is important. Muscle is the enemy of fat—it helps you burn fat and stay young.

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock. You stare in the dark at the numbers glaring back at you on your alarm clock. It is 3 a.m., and the makings of another night of interrupted sleep and frustration.

List of related literature:

She warns that pushing the limits in training and at work at the expense of sleep will ultimately compromise performance.

“Peak: The New Science of Athletic Performance That is Revolutionizing Sports” by Marc Bubbs
from Peak: The New Science of Athletic Performance That is Revolutionizing Sports
by Marc Bubbs
Chelsea Green Publishing, 2019

A recent review of literature concluded that shiftwork, which tends to disrupt sleep patterns, is associated with a negative influence on skeletal muscle health, including a decrease in muscle protein synthesis and elevations in proteolysis (2).

“Science and Development of Muscle Hypertrophy” by Brad Schoenfeld
from Science and Development of Muscle Hypertrophy
by Brad Schoenfeld
Human Kinetics, 2020

Sleep remains a forgotten component of fitness and the number one element when it comes to recovery.

“Get Your Mind Right: 10 Keys to Unlock Your Potential and Ignite Your Success” by Todd Durkin, Mike Yorkey
from Get Your Mind Right: 10 Keys to Unlock Your Potential and Ignite Your Success
by Todd Durkin, Mike Yorkey
Baker Publishing Group, 2020

Poor sleep may inhibit recovery from training and predispose to injury, and

“Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine E-Book” by Meir H. Kryger, Thomas Roth, William C. Dement
from Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine E-Book
by Meir H. Kryger, Thomas Roth, William C. Dement
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2015

More recently, effects of 24 hours of sleep deprivation on weightlifting performance were examined in national standard collegiate weightlifters.

“Sport, Recovery, and Performance: Interdisciplinary Insights” by Michael Kellmann, Jürgen Beckmann
from Sport, Recovery, and Performance: Interdisciplinary Insights
by Michael Kellmann, Jürgen Beckmann
Taylor & Francis, 2017

Researchers speculate that sleep helps improve athletic performance because during SWS growth hormone is released which stimulates muscle growth and repair, bone building and fat burning, and therefore helps athletes recover.

“How to Sleep Well: The Science of Sleeping Smarter, Living Better and Being Productive” by Neil Stanley
from How to Sleep Well: The Science of Sleeping Smarter, Living Better and Being Productive
by Neil Stanley
Wiley, 2018

(High fitness makes it possible to perform on less sleep.

“The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal” by Jim Loehr, James E. Loehr, Tony Schwartz
from The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal
by Jim Loehr, James E. Loehr, Tony Schwartz
Free Press, 2005

Their study suggested that those who don’t disengage from unachievable goals likely suffer sleep disturbances, which increases your risk for all the aforementioned health concerns.

“The Next Happy: Let Go of the Life You Planned and Find a New Way Forward” by Tracey Cleantis
from The Next Happy: Let Go of the Life You Planned and Find a New Way Forward
by Tracey Cleantis
Hazelden Publishing, 2015

It also gives your subconscious a chance to embed your goals during your seven to eight hours of quality sleep.

“The Alkaline Reset Cleanse: The 7-Day Reboot for Unlimited Energy, Rapid Weight Loss, and the Prevention of Degenerative Disease” by Ross Bridgeford
from The Alkaline Reset Cleanse: The 7-Day Reboot for Unlimited Energy, Rapid Weight Loss, and the Prevention of Degenerative Disease
by Ross Bridgeford
Hay House, 2018

Sleep is absolutely critical to athletic success, and yet some athletes intentionally shorten their sleep time in order to fit more stuff into their daily lives.

“The Cyclist's Training Bible: The World's Most Comprehensive Training Guide” by Joe Friel
from The Cyclist’s Training Bible: The World’s Most Comprehensive Training Guide
by Joe Friel
VeloPress, 2018

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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38 comments

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  • Mental strength under duress is very useful. Sleep = hard rest. You only need around 4 hours of hard rest throughout every 24 hours.

  • In order to stop eating food i shouldn’t be eating cause it was too hazardous for my health i literally started thinking about it like poison and then thinking about the potential worse case scenario it would cause me if i continued to do so. That along with realizing that it would destroy me long before i actually died from it i got alot better and i’m alot healthier now.

  • We had a Knucklehead CO that for what i heard use to be abused when he was an LT, I guess he was trying to show that he was in control. Anyway this dumbass had us running 5 miles every single day before a deployment, needles to say we had a quite a few soldiers with knee injuries (myself included). And you know what’s the worst thing, there is IDIOTS that still support this…

  • One time I was at an appointment reading a self development book. And when my docter came in they were like: Oh my gosh. You really think you could be extremely successful?

  • You know after about 10 years of self-learning through reading on the internet and trying out different stuff, I can safely say this is maybe the most informative measured take on the subject. Awesome.

  • I am going to try accountability beginning this week. But with 2 others who are of the same mind. Let y’all know how that goes in a few months…

  • I have actually lost 20 lbs (not enough) and saved money (also not enough). But you’re right no one should openly speak about what they want to do. People will just talk down on you because they can’t do it themselves

  • Dude, ever heard of epigenetics? Read, please and read a lot before making statements. Your genetic makeup is not set in stone, genes and by that your chromosomes are flexible. Consciously manipulating your own gene expression is not only possible but preferable to long term health and fitness. The mistake that you made and what people make is that with limited information comes limited power. Applying limited knowledge without limits leads to failure. If I ever wanted to get into car repair, I would first live and breathe every scrap of knowledge about cars and how they work. So when you want to train, what do you do first? Stop spanking that fender with a wrench please.

  • I wanted to go to RASP and ranger school…all the running in basic/AIT and not knowing how to run properly gave me stress fractures which resulted in compartment syndrome. hoping i can bounce back after surgery.

  • Well I told people my goals and down 40 pounds and now I’m telling the world…. 40 more to go… I have found that people analyze things more because they know I’m trying and they are seeing the change… so I’m a way it’s helping me stick to it

  • Your right in as much as if I tell people what I am doing I am less likely to do it. However, I find if someone challenges me as to whether I will reach my goal it sometimes spurs me on. I suppose people are different. Thanks for this video. it has helped me.

  • He is speaking about the average, normal everyday Joe, not someone in a competition or some other exception you guys have found….get the context correct. Most people do not have the time to fight nature, stress, their environment, and their body.

  • Yes! Work your goals. Let others be surprised by your RESULTS. Even then…don’t share your goals.
    These are your goals and you can’t rely on outside approval.,
    or disapproval. I’ve seen people automatically tear down and joke about a friend who wants to lose weight, etc and the goal-monentu. dies in an instant.

  • I know this is late but what is a good way to cross-train. I’m in powerlifting and swimming in my school, and according to this my schedule of powerlifting Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and swimming Tuesday and Thursday is bad. I want to be in the middle where I’m strong but have the ability to run a respectable mile.

  • Great video and very true one! I think when people tell you these things, its more about their Ego that is in their comfort zone and started to fear. I experienced it also and maybe those people are here to test us, and test our will. We can’t change others, but maybe we can change our perspective and understanding why these people say that. Like that, eveb those negative comments can motivate us: I m gonna show you!:D And that moment u stop speaking, and start showing!
    Alex, great video, I also study medicine and like the way you understand things and bring out here. Have a nice day!:)

  • I’m so thankful that I have found your channel! I remember my mother once said to me “When are you going to accept that you are always going to be fat?!” It was years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday. I did end up losing about 90 lbs but I’ve gained 70 back ��

  • Hey Carter, recently found you on instagram and now started watching your videos here. I am so thankful. Over the last three years I gained around 70 pounds and now in a place emotionally and mentally to confront this, take control of my health, and make lifestyle changes. Thank you for your stories and the information you share. I look forward to learning more:)

  • That’s so true and very good video! But I think you should consider using less images during your videos, it was a little distracting. I think it’s actually better to just look at you speaking. Anyway, keep it up!

  • When I tell people I want to pay off my student loans by the age of 30 (debt free by 30!) people say “you’ll ALWAYS be in debt. Student loans are good debt. You’ll always be chasing some sort of debt. That’s just the way it is.” Pshhhhhhhh, I’ll be on the Dave Ramsey Show soon enough doing my debt free scream! Mark my words!

    I must say… once I started telling people how much debt we started with when we got married, and how much we have paid off, I stopped getting as much feedback. Maybe they’re starting to believe that we will actually do it!!

  • For the past four months, I’ve been running a mile in a half 5 days a week within the 10 min.
    Eventually, both of my knees where aching so bad that it was really unbearable. Turns out, it was potellerfemorel pain syndrome. For the past month I’ve been cutting back because of it with some naproxen.
    Right now my left knee is still recovering but my right is pretty much good.
    Hopefully my left recovers soon so I could get back too it except next time, I’ll learn when to take at ease.

  • Alex,

    Can you do a segment on GAINING weight? There is so little out there on that and since that is something you have definitely succeeded at I, for one would like to hear & see how you did it.

    Just went through a breakup with an NPD girlfriend and lost 19 pounds that I could NOT afford to lose in the aftermath…

    I really, really want to put it back. Been eating 5 meals a day and working out kinda sporadically but no joy so far?

  • Genetics isn’t an excuse. A great video is by an asian man who is a marine and he had every obstacle to overcome and he did it. Watch the vid

  • Absolutely agree! I remember before I started losing weight, the headmaster of the school talked to me because I was obese. I told her that I will lose weight and be normal again and she told me that: You’ll never be thin or normal, just be a little less chubbier, fat is your body type. After that I was so hurt as a kid going into puberty, without any good self-knowledge. I would also tell my mother that I will start eating healthier and less and she’d tell me that I say this every day (she was right). Long story short I started doing things to get to my goal and now I am fit and in a very healthy slim weight. It wasn’t my body type or the words I shared with people but my actions and forming new habits.

    My mother, who is not into lifestyle things and “self psychology and philosophy” has advised me to never say to too many people what my goals are because they never happen. Old people in Greece say it’s bad luck and better to keep the goal completely to oneself. Maybe it’s wise to take advice from the “old wisdom”. They are right but maybe with the wrong reasons. Because let’s be honest, the evil eye of that e.g. jealous person won’t make you not take action towards your goal. When I quit smoking, almost two years ago, I did the same. I didn’t tell anyone except my mom and boyfriend because the pressure would be enormous compared to what it was when I quit.

    Once again, great video Alex.

  • Look at any Olympic Weightlifter from china, they’re all under 5’7 and 180lb, skinny but lifting 3 times their bodyweight. Although I love your channel and wanna be sf one day

  • For me I’m trying to lose over 100 lbs I was 295 now down to 206 today I was 204 but hey water weight no biggie. People keep telling me that I’m starting to look sick. How do I look sick at all? I’m still 200+. I’m still in the obese range. I still have a stomach and I look sick are you kidding me. This is why I stopped telling people my goals for my life.

  • “Skinny people can’t get huge”
    Ok, right, no one’s ever successfully bulked before, it’s all a lie, either you’re born big or not.
    Just eat 3x more if you can’t gain weight.
    Seems like you simply gave up on getting strong because you wouldn’t eat enough.

  • People said that I was wasting my money on the things I said I needed to buy for my business. Right before I was about to purchase it…. I felt doubt because of them right before I purchased it, but said fuck it and bought it.

  • #8 pec tears hurt emotionally more than physically. If you shred a tendon and don’t see doc in time, say goodbye to getting shredded. ��

  • I´m surprised by the second “mistake” you mentioned. Don´t fight your genetics. I´ve served for quite a few yrs and from my experience, fighting your genetics is exactly what you want to do. If you´re a skinny guy that can get a great 10k time, then run less and do more strength work. Always address your weaknesses, you´re strengths needs to be maintained or slightly improved but never go full out on the things you´re great at already.

  • Hi Alex! What should I do if someone asks me about my future goals, such as friends, teachers and so on. I don’t want to be rude ������

  • I will watch this again with pen and paper at the ready to take notes then act. This is too valuable to let it pass. Thank you Alex.

  • Dude I was literally just talking to my friends about a bet I made to get in shape. Oh well, I HAVE to get it done anyways, otherwise I’ll have to admit I failed (my ego is waaaay to big for that)

  • Anyone training for SpecOps should follow Jeff Nichols’ programs. He is an exercise physiologist and is also a former DEVGRU operator. He has almost 20 years of experience in exercise physiology and is one of the best in the world. He weighed around 200 lbs (5’ 10”) when he went to BUDS but was still able to do around:
    160 pushups2 min
    160 sit-ups2 min
    I don’t recall his numbers on pull-ups and run times but i remember them being very fast. I was extremely impressed with them because I remember wondering how a 200 lb guy could run and swim that fast. He also said that although BUDs is the hardest selection program in the world (91%-98% attrition as of now), that is wasn’t too bad for him. He actually said he prepared so good that it was easy most of the time physically.
    He said as all the other guys were grunting and making faces, he was sitting there calm and that the worst part of BUDs was that it was boring. That was around 20 years ago. Imagine how much better his programming is now. My advice for anyone that listens is that I would watch all his videos. Most are on Stew Smiths YouTube channel. Also do all the programs, working on your weaknesses first. On his website under FAQs, there is a lot of info to get you started. Once you do these programs (1.5-2 years total) I would do Stew Smiths’ 12 weeks to BUDs. Out of all the men he used it on (40), all of them successfully completed BUDs. It’s an advanced program, so I would recommend doing Jeff’s stuff first. I found it easier to progress with Jeff’s programs than Stews, but that could just be me as I was not fit at all when I started. Wish you all the best!

  • Soda must really have had a hold on you. lol. Also,  your graphics were quite literal rather than your usual amusing creative style.

  • Leave it up to the Beastie Boys to turn a sqeeky toy into an instrument. The whole thing is pure genius and worthy of something… Hall of fame…yata yata

  • at first you annoyed me posting videos on such a range of topics, as if you were an expert on everything. but the content speaks for itself. this is a great video and the key to successful and sustainable dieting. it really is mostly about changing your mindset so you’re not working against yourself with one foot on the gas and the other on the brake, focusing on what you’re “sacrificing” instead of your goal. not to mention mindsets as far as patience, discipline, self-acceptance etc. thanks for the great videos you’re becoming one of my favorite channels

  • “You have to change your level of awareness of your nature, you have to change your nature”

    Here is my perspective on change: In order to change, you have to first realize you cannot change. Once you realize that your nature is who you are, only then can you accept that you are ALWAYS going to naturally feel the way you do. Once you accept that, then you are capable of accepting that you can discipline your nature to change your actual actions. Your nature will always remain the same, the difference is your ability to accept that your nature is sometimes wrong and then choose to do the right thing. You have the choice to discipline your nature, but you don’t have the choice to change your nature.

    Just my thoughts on the topic! Good video John

  • I like this one because I am one hundred percent guilty of this.

    My parents are paying for me to go to school so when I tell them I want to be a musician/rapper I never get a positive response. It’s usually a series of lectures spanning the next few weeks on why that’s not feasible.

    Idk why I would think it was a good idea to to tell my parents this in the first place but it’s likely along the lines of what you were talking about with wanting to feel a little satisfaction just by telling someone.