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Nutrition and training are only pieces of the health and fitness puzzle. If your eating and training are consistently good, but you still don’t look and feel the way you’d like to, one of the other pieces may need fixing. Most often, it’s the result of poor sleep.

Your body composition, mental acuity, digestion, skin health, mood states and physical performance are some of the components heavily dependent on sufficient sleep. Seven hours of peaceful sleep every night is the minimum needed to keep health and fitness problems at bay. If you’re getting less than that but feel like you’re getting enough sleep, you’re kidding yourself.

These are some signs that your sleep habits may need tweaking:

You’re Struggling with your Body Composition

Poor sleep can:

  • Increase excess body fat
  • Disrupt your feelings of hunger and satiety
  • Increase caloric intake, especially from comfort foods
  • Excess body can in turn reduce sleep quality making this a negative feedback loop

Your Mental Performance is Shaky

Sleep is especially important for the recovery and development of the central nervous system. Insufficient sleep can cause:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Low mood states
  • Attention deficit
  • Impaired judgement
  • Reduced alertness
  • Mental acuity during exercise

You’re Prone to Sickness

Sleep is also responsible for keeping your immune system in check. Insufficient sleep results in:

  • Increased inflammation
  • Vulnerability to viruses and bacteria
  • Greater stress to the cardiovascular system
  • Inability to recover from colds and flu

Does any of this sound like you, but your eating and training is fairly on point? If so, your sleep habits may need tweaking. You should be aiming for seven hours of restful sleep a night. That is, seven hours of shut eye. Not seven hours from the time you get into bed until waking 😉


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