I will not even bother telling you what time it is as I type this. It’s way, way too late. Once again, I’ve done what I swore I wouldn’t – stayed up past my bedtime. It’s a bad habit I have, true, but that’s not the only reason I should break it. Plain and simple, your body needs rest. And, no, five hours a night won’t cut it. Recent studies have linked sleep and diabetes and proven that not enough good quality sleep impairs your insulin productions, increases cortisol (the stress hormone) and decreases growth hormone – not an optimal blend if you are trying to lose weight or gain muscle.
Not only should you get enough sleep, but enough REST is equally important. I’ve had two severe injuries in the past two years, and both left me sidelined for quite a while. I can look back at both and see a direct correlation to the amount of training I was doing – once training for a half marathon and once trying to lose extra weight in time for a vacation.
I’m not advocating that you slack on the exercise – just be sure you are getting enough good quality rest in between your runs. Be sure that you get to bed in good time, leaving the books and the television and even the bills for another night. Turn off the lights, turn on the fan, and crawl under the covers. You’ll reap the benefits on the training field!