Our society doesn't value slowing down. We're in an always connected, always on, always "I need that yesterday," 24/7/365 world. We all suffer for it. People take this same frantic approach to their fitness routines. A pervasive attitude of "no pain, no gain" trickles through the fitness world, to the detriment of those who are trying to hit their goals. Whether we want to admit it of not, quality sleep is the missing ingredient to most people's fitness routines.
Hectic lifestyles combined with not making sleep a priority make for a chronic, low-level sleep deprivation that shows up in all aspects of our lives. Most people are running around with their low gas light on. They know that we need to fill up to see the results they want to see, but they have just enough fuel in the tank to make scrape through the next day. Our sleep is not optimized for us to crush a workout, work an eight hour day, and fulfill all of our other obligations. We coast through life like zombies and wonder why we never get those abs.
Sean Griffin, owner of Chicago Primal Gym, points out that "...when it's low-grade sleep deprivation it's maybe a little easier to ignore it and pretend that you'll address [your poor sleep] if it ever gets out of control." The thing is, that most people can cobble together enough energy out of sugar-filled energy drinks, excessive amounts of coffee, and sugar-filled treats to grind out another day of life and see lackluster results in the gym. Or, they think that that feeling crummy and low energy all of the time is normal. Their sleep never gets out of control enough to address because we force our way through by sheer will and chemical enablement despite desperately needing and craving a restorative night of sleep.
Sean adds that, "Sleep makes you stronger, sharper, and calmer, but in a society where those qualities aren't necessary to survive they seem less sexy."
According to Kathryn Lehner, a personal trainer and founder of Strong Escapes, the answer is plain and simple. If you want to see the results you desire in the gym, you have to sleep and recover properly. "When we workout (especially when we strength train) we create little tears in the muscle fiber... the best thing you can do for recovery is sleep and allow your body to produce the necessary hormones needed to rebuild those muscle fibers."
Not only is sleep necessary to your body's physiology for repair and recovery, but it's also a huge indicator of how consistent a student will be at the gym. Kathryn has observed that when her clients aren't getting enough quality sleep their mood, energy levels, training consistency, and motivation to train all suffer. Sean agrees, adding that the quality and intensity of the workout degrades the more sleep deprived a student is.
Being committed to a fitness routine is half of the battle when it comes to hitting your goal weight or personal bests. Sleep is the other half. Often times, it's so hard to get someone on a consistent training schedule to begin with, and sleep is usually an afterthought. The focus and attention is on hitting the gym. Sean tries to look at his students' health holistically. "So many people struggle to just start or maintain a fitness routine. Once you start talking about other "lifestyle" factors and people are faced with looking at EVERYTHING they're doing and that can get uncomfortable and intimidating quickly."
Sleep is often the unsung hero of the fitness world, but as Sean points out, it's often a lifestyle factor that is the last thing people address when making a lifestyle changes. This is where Lucid comes in. Lucid optimizes your body's ability to make the hormones necessary for restful sleep and substantial growth and recovery - in the time that you have for sleeping. Hitting the gym is futile if you're not making sleep a priority. Lucid makes sleep a priority for you. Taking Lucid 30 minutes before bed sets your optimum hormonal . cycles in motion -- transitioning you into a restorative night of amazing sleep.
As both coaches have observed, once you sleep better, your workouts improve and you're more motivated and consistent. You start seeing more results. The better and more consistent your workouts are, the more sleep and time for recovery your body needs. Once you optimize that sleep and recovery time, you start seeing even more results. Get your momentum going in the right direction. It starts with sleep.
Fat loss, muscle gain, enhanced mood, and better quality of life in general is waiting for you on the other side of good night's rest. When it comes to sleep, let Lucid do the heavy lifting.