Sleep — The Most Important Factor

How’d you sleep last night? Or have you not even gone to bed, yet (if you’re like my husband and work midnight to 8 am), how exhausted are you right about now?

Lately I rarely get more than 4-5 hours of sleep it seems. There’s a few factors coinciding with this (Dally’s on meds that keep her drinking and needing to go outside at all hours of the night, lots of thoughts going through my mind, inability to relax…), but my worst nights are Monday nights. I ref volleyball at a local German bar/restaurant from 6 pm until about 1:30 am. I’m exhausted through the night, but lately it seems like when I get home around 1:45, I can’t fall asleep right away. For example. this past Monday night/Tuesday morning I think I finally fell asleep around 3 am. And guess what…my alarm went off at 6:43 (don’t ask–I’m strange about time) so I could make my 7:30 class at Man O’War CrossFit.

I do this every week–Tuesdays suck for me! Sure I could probably sleep in and make the noon class, or even the 5 pm class, but I like my peeps in the 7:30 am class. And I like to get my workouts done for the day early–even when I’m working from home and no longer have to be in an office by a certain time. So, yes, I still wake up early everyday (even Saturdays) for my workouts. My husband thinks I’m crazy, but I digress…

So, every Tuesday morning I walk into the box and proclaim “I hate Tuesdays” because the workouts are always tough ones. This week’s was no exception:

Talk about rough!! This was the first WOD where I felt like I could maybe throw up (which is pretty good, considering I have never felt that way, even when I started CrossFit in April). My asthma was affecting me for the first time in a long time and I had trouble breathing about 7 rounds into the WOD.

This was one workout where I definitely thought, “Maybe I should have tried sleeping in and tackling this at noon…” But by then it was too late–I was already dressed, had my half banana with peanut butter, and starting to fully wake up.


How important is sleep to fitness?

According to research, growth hormone is produced mostly while you sleep. What is growth hormone? Growth hormone does many things: promotes fat loss, reduces fat storage, increases calcium retention, and can help boost your immune system.

Also, getting a full night’s rest has been known to satiate your hunger. (Which I’m always hungry…)

Read more from Men’s Fitness.

Sleep also allows your body to repair itself–hello recovery from tough WODs and long training runs!

It can also impact your mood (yes, I tend to be a tad cranky on Tuesdays) and your performance in anything–using your brain or physically. So I probably don’t do my best on my Tuesday workouts.

Hmm…so with all this in mind, maybe I need to rethink my Tuesday routine to include more sleep? (Though I do admit, every once in a while I’m actually able to take a nap during the day, but that’s pretty rare.)

How does lack of sleep affect you in your workouts? Everyday life? 


3 thoughts on “Sleep — The Most Important Factor

  1. I am a bad sleeper. So bad. I have a hard time falling asleep, and I wake often. My only saving grace is that I can and do nap during the day, which is usually my best and most refreshing sleep. I have the worst time shutting off my brain to allow myself to relax. I’ve tried all the tricks and tips, and have even used prescribed aids to see if it would help, but nothing has really worked long term. I’m jealous of my mom and my husband who seem to just close their eyes and be out.

    • I am the same way! Except I have a hard time taking a nap during the day–if the sun’s up, I’m up. I think I get that from my dad (though now that he’s 67, he naps often now, so I have hope in 30+ more years).

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