Fitness Contrarian Principle # 7 – Get Adequate Sleep

We all know how important it is to get adequate sleep but so few of us do get enough. Your body can’t function at an optimal level if you are always sleep deprived. So many important reactions happen to our bodies when you are asleep. Vital hormones are released when you are asleep that help your brain function, immune system and can even help you to lose weight. Check out this article I wrote called Lack of Sleep Leads to Weight Gain.

Out of all my Fitness Contrarian principles this is probably the hardest one for me to follow. Owning a gym and training clients is a very labor-intensive job with long hours. I’m up at 5:30 AM six days per week training clients and spending whatever remaining time I have with my wife and kids. My schedule leaves me little time for adequate sleep. Sometimes I don’t even realize how deprived I am until I go on vacation and sleep a solid 8-hours for a few days and feel incredible.

Not sleeping enough is one mistake I have made over the years. I used to think that as long as I lived an active lifestyle, ate perfect and exercised all the time I didn’t need to sleep that much. But I was wrong; we all need at least 7 hours every night. I had to make some adjustments to my life to get more. I suggest you follow my lead if you’re not sleeping enough.

lifestyle changes to get adequate sleep:

  • Don’t think you can only unwind after the kids go to bed and therefore, end up staying up way too late. You are better off going to bed early. You will unwind when you are sleeping and feel refreshed in the morning.
  • Have a night ritual that gets you ready for bed. It can be a bath or reading a book or anything that sets the stage for bed.
  • No late night eating or heavy drinking that can disturb your sleep
  • I have found that complete darkness helps me sleep more soundly. Studies have found that sleeping in total darkness can increase melatonin levels.
  • Taking a 20-minute nap when you don’t get enough sleep the night before is a good idea too.

We all need adequate sleep for good health so make sure you are getting enough.

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Best – Mike Cola

About Mike Cola

Mike Cola has well over 50,000 hours of hands-on personal training experience. He started his own personal training studio in1989, Mike Cola Fitness, which is located in New York.Connect with Mike @ Google+

6 Responses to “Fitness Contrarian Principle # 7 – Get Adequate Sleep”

  1. It makes me wonder what kind of shape you could get in if you not only got the exercise and nutrition part down, but could also get control over stress and get sufficient sleep. I agree that getting enough sleep can be a challenge. Thanks for the reminder. I think I’m going to go to bed early tonight.

  2. Hey Tom,

    We all need enough sleep.

    Thanks for checking out my blog.

    Best – Mike

  3. Mike,
    I love this post. It is so true, and I am guilty of not making sleep enough of a priority. I can’t even use children as an excuse! Thanks for the reminder. I will try the book and bath this week. I’ve also tried to limit my exposure to blue light (mostly the TV)

  4. Nice post. So many people are ignorant of the fact that muscles don’t grow in the gym. They grow with rest, especially with sleep. Not getting your 8 hours is really doing your body a disservice, especially when you’re trying to build some muscle or get stronger.


  5. Mike,

    Setting a weekly target is a good way to make sleep a priority. I set a weekly goal of 50 hours of sleep and strive to hit it every week just like any other diet or fitness goal that I have.


  6. Hey Alykhan,

    That’s a great way to look at it. Set a weekly goal of sleeping 50 hours.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

    Best – Mike