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Exercise & Lack of Sleep

by
author image Tyson Alexander
Tyson Alexander has been writing professionally since 2007. He writes articles for various websites on topics of psychology, the brain and mental health. He holds a Master of Arts in psychology from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.
Exercise & Lack of Sleep
A woman smiling after a good night's sleep. Photo Credit Marco Baass/Hemera/Getty Images

As important as it is to get out and be active to succeed with exercise, spending enough time sleeping also affects your exercise outcomes. Most adults require between seven and a half and nine hours of sleep each night. If you do not regularly get enough sleep you might limit your motivation, energy levels and your body's ability to recover from exercise.

Psychological Effects

You might experience a number of negative effects if you do not regularly get a full night's sleep. Sleep deprivation makes you feel lazy and less motivated, which makes you less likely to grab your exercise gear and go to the gym or for a jog. A lack of sleep also can affect your concentration and impair your memory, which can make it more difficult for you to chart your progress and stay on track at the gym.

Metabolism

Not getting enough sleep might cause you to gain weight, which can thwart any weight-loss goals you set with you exercise routine. Sleep deprivation decreases your body's levels of leptin, a hormone responsible for making you feel full, according an October 2010 article in the journal "Best Practice and Research: Clinical Endrocrinology and Metabolism." Not sleeping enough also increases your levels of ghrelin, which increases your appetite and makes you want to eat more.

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Energy Levels

Not getting enough sleep can affect your performance when you exercise in a couple of ways. Sleep deprivation can decrease your energy levels, which makes it harder for you to get a good workout. A May 2003 study published in the "European Journal of Applied Physiology" examined the energy levels of men who had a normal night's sleep and men who did not sleep. The men who did not sleep showed lower maximum and average energy levels.

Muscle and Bone Repair

You might limit your progress with exercise if you do not get enough sleep each night. Your body releases growth hormone while you sleep, which helps strengthen your bones and muscles. So not getting enough sleep might limit your body's ability to recover from an intense workout or make your muscles and bones stronger. Not getting enough sleep might be particularly limiting if you strength train, as you depend on the growth hormone your body secretes at night to make your muscles stronger to allow you to recover and lift more weight.

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References

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