You may be diligent about working out consistently and eating a healthy diet, but studies show that sleep deprivation is detrimental. When we don’t get enough sleep, things like blood pressure, glucose regulation, hormone production, and protein synthesis are thrown out of whack (Mello, 2011). Muscle glycogen content reduces, which our muscles require for fuel. Some studies concentrate on the negative effect of sleep deprivation on performance (Mündel, 2011), and some show a positive correlation between sufficient sleep and enhanced athletic capabilities. So, in short, don’t skimp on sleep – You may be undoing a days-worth of hard work!
Fun fact: Taking a post-lunch nap after a sleepless night can improve alertness and aspects of mental and physical performance! (Waterhouse, 2007)
Mello, M. D. Sleep and muscle recovery: Endocrinological and molecular basis for a new and promising hypothesis. Medical Hypotheses, 77, 220-222.
Mündel, T. Intermittent-Sprint Performance and Muscle Glycogen after 30 h of Sleep Deprivation. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 43, 1301-1311.
Waterhouse, J., Atkinson, G., & Edwards, B. The role of a short post-lunch nap in improving cognitive, motor, and sprint performance in participants with partial sleep deprivation. Journal of Sports Sciences, 25, 1557-1566.