The Connection Between Sleep and Your Well-Being

The importance of a good night of sleep cannot be overstated. Would you like to feel rested and energized for the day? Would you like to improve your memory and cognitive function? Would you like to perform at peak levels during your workouts? It all begins with a good nights sleep.

‘It’s a paradox of modern life that we live in a state of continuous exhaustion and yet we’re unable to sleep- which leaves us even more exhausted the next day and the day after that.” – The Sleep Revolution, Arianna Huffington

You may ask yourself how much sleep do I need? A 2012 Harvard Medical School study found that healthy adults who slept an average of 5.6 hours a night for three weeks had a DECREASED resting metabolic rate and INCREASED glucose levels after meals, increasing the risk of obesity and diabetes. That is an undesirable outcome for all of us who work hard to reach our fitness goals. Our body goes through important stages or cycles when we sleep. One must allow enough time to reach all of those crucial stages. Heathy adults ages 18-64 need between 7-9 hours of sleep. Adults ages 65 and over need between 7-8 hours per night. Here are a few suggestions for improving the quality of your sleep.

-Create a wind down routine

-Turn off or use dim lighting throughout the house 2 hours prior to sleep time

-Discontinue use of electronics (phone, tablet, TV) one hour prior to sleep time

-Discontinue water intake one hour prior to sleep time

Take a relaxing warm bath or shower

-Use lavender products and supplements such as magnesium and valerian root (as long as you are not allergic)

-If you need a sleep reset, take a natural sleep aid like melatonin

-Try not to do any other activities in bed other than sleep (that includes reading)

-Keep your bedroom at an optimal sleep temp between 62-66 degrees

-Clean your pillow case and sheets a minimum of once per week

Ask your Yakima Athletic Club Trainers for more information on how sleep can impact your fitness!


-Ashley Merz, YAC Small Group Training Instructor