When it comes to metabolism, one of the most important factors in determining its efficiency is something you’ll spend ⅓ of your life doing. That’s right – Sleeping! Metabolism refers to all chemical reactions occuring in the body and can be broken down into two biochemical processes. The first is anabolism, which refers to building molecules up which includes things such as building muscle. The second is catabolism, which refers to breaking molecules down, such as what’s happening to your muscles when you’re training. These processes work together to regulate how much energy the body uses to maintain itself, grow muscle or lose fat as examples.
Sleep is critically important when it comes to metabolism because that’s when your body is regenerating itself from the work you put in when you were awake! Think of it as recharging your batteries much like you would when you plug your phone in at night. It’s important to remember that you aren’t gaining muscle during your training session, but in fact you’re breaking muscle tissue down. It’s when you’re sleeping that your body repairs and grows. When you lose sleep, your metabolism becomes less efficient, which equates to your time in the gym being worth less than it could be if you had a good night’s sleep.
While a few bad nights of sleep won’t have a devastating impact you will lose momentum quickly, it’s important to avoid chronic sleep deprivation. Your metabolism will become irregular and inefficient which can lead to a downward spiral of increased inflammation, injuries, unwanted weight gain and the inability to build muscle. The most important factors when it comes to sleep is a) make sure you’re getting enough, b) make sure your sleep schedule is consistent, and c) make sure your getting a good quality of sleep (not tossing and turning, falling asleep easily). Ensure that you’re getting a good night’s sleep and you will reap the benefits of an efficient metabolism, which will equal an easier time making the gains you’re looking for or dropping that extra few pounds of unwanted fat.