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Essentials of a workout session (Part 5) - Sleep habits

Sairamnath Ananthakrishnan
Sairamnath Ananthakrishnan
“You look so tired, are you over worked?
“Your eyes are reddish, got an infection?”
“Why is your face looking so dull? Are you upset about something?”
The above are very common questions you may face at times. You know all the above may not have to be true. You could be working only 8-9 hours a day. You could be very happy about things happening around yet your eyes don’t say that. Your face might look like a modern day mona lisa which you may have not realised. So what is the hoopla about all these? Yes, you got it right. ‘SLEEP’
What is that got to do with workouts? Sure, you may have guessed it right. If you don’t sleep well after a hard day’s work (well, considering you hit the gym and have a job that requires you to put a good number of hours a day), your body is not going to recover optimally. If you don’t sleep well enough, the cortisol hormone secreted by the adrenal gland is going to shoot up making you deposit more fat in your body. Your cognitive abilities are impacted. Your muscles wont grow as it has not been given the adequate rest from the previous day beating it has taken. All of these are internal factors which eventually show out in terms of your physical appearance over time.
Externally, you might just like a rabbit who is yearning for a carrot in his death bed.
Without getting too technical, this article would cover about three signs that you don’t need anyone else to tell you but use your common sense to set things in order.
• Poor Cognition
• Weight management issues
• Poor immunity
Poor Cognition:
Cognitive abilities includes conscious intellectual activity such as reasoning, thinking, memory span which are essential for our survival. Lack of sleep causes interference which leads to
a. Reduced alertness & poor concentration
b. Foggy mind (confusion)
c. Poor judgement
d. Poor memory
Weight Management issues:
Oh yes. This impacts your body weight directly leading to increasing fat deposition. Poor sleeping pattern leads to
e. Disruption of appetite
f. More hunger pangs
g. Binge eating/Cravings for unnecessary food eventually leading to weight gain
Poor Immunity:
When you don’t get adequate sleep, inflammation in the body goes up resulting in
h. Poor immune system functioning thereby prone to more viral and bacterial attacks
i. Increasing chances of falling sick and often
j. Risk of cardio vascular disease and other inflammation related disorders/illness
Key Takeaway:
Get adequate sleep. Period. Ok, so how many hours of sleep is considered to be optimal? 7-9 hours per day is good enough to let your body recover. Should be continuous or can it be intermittent? It is recommended you don’t break your sleep in between and complete the quota in one shot rather sleeping for few hours in the night and taking a nap in the afternoon. There are some tips to get better sleep
k. Turn off electronics - Don’t worry if your FB or Instagram pictures are not being liked by people whom you desperately want to. Your wealth won’t turn into an ash if you don’t track them continuously over night. Turn off the data pack/ wi-fi 30 minutes before your bed. You don’t need them to screw up your sleep as artificial light interferes with melatonin production (hormone that puts you to sleep)
l. Darken the room - Don’t fear darkness in your own room. Annabelle doll or Valak, THE NUN is not going to kill you when you turn off the lights. And yes, put your phone upside down preferably in silent mode unless you have the RBI governor calling you to discuss the ill effects of demonetisation
m. Appropriate temperature - Set the room in an appropriate temperature. Your body prefers to rest in a cooler temperature than getting a feeling of sleeping on a chimney. So don’t have to become a penguin every night nor a sidewinder snake of the dessert. Set an optimal cooler temperature that works for you