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How lack of sleep affects your workouts

Many of us pay careful attention to our diet and exercise, but undermine our efforts by not getting enough sleep. We look at the effects of insufficient sleep, and discuss what you can do about it.

Are you getting enough?

In an effort to pack as much as possible into our crowded lives, many of us are guilty of sabotaging our own efforts. We work overtime, cram our workouts in, skip lunch, and as for sleep, well, that's an inconvenience squeezed in between watching a movie and heading back to work.

However, recent surveys suggest that chronic lack of sleep is endemic in modern society, and that athletes, with their caffeinated sports drinks and pre-workout pick-me-ups, are as guilty as any late night clubber of burning the candle at both ends.

In the UK, almost 20% of people get insufficient sleep most nights, and 60% fall short at least one or two nights per week. This is a critical issue - sleep plays a critical role in regulating physiological functions, and insufficient or poor quality sleep is implicated in a host of health problems, including:

  • Weight gain
  • Insulin resistance
  • Type-2 diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
What is surprising is how quickly sleep deprivation can have negative effects on your health and performance. You think just a few nights won't make any difference? Think again.

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