Sleep, diet, and exercise are a powerful synergy that, when regulated, can prove to make incredible changes to a person’s fitness, and mental health. They are all interrelated, if one takes a hit, the other gets affected too.
As we go on to talk about the science of sleep and fitness we are going to touch upon some great online resources and apps that can help you optimize your sleep routine. The Internet has proven to be a versatile instrument in this regard providing information and assistance.
Let’s explore some digital treasures that can not only improve the quality of your slumber but also enhance your rest and restoration process. All you need is a stable internet connection like Cox Internet and a smart device to access them.
Role of Sleep in Staying Fit
The objective of working out varies from cardiovascular health to developing endurance, stamina, loss fat, and lean muscle mass. If you are sleep deprived, no matter the hours you spend at the gym, these benefits cannot be achieved.
Sleeping allows for a welcome breather where your body essentially recovers, conserves energy, and repairs muscle mass that tears out during a workout. This happens due to the release of the growth hormone in the body as a result of quality sleep. This hormone is imperative for athletic recovery.
Role of Exercise in a Healthy Sleep Cycle
The exhaustion that follows a good workout induces an immediate sleep wave. In a study, people who reported a regular sleep routine of 6.5 hours reported an increase of 75 minutes in their sleep after incorporating some moderate exercise.
Working out helps you maintain a uniform circadian rhythm. Physical exercise releases a hormone in our brains called adenosine. Adenosine naturally induces sleep. This is the same chemical that caffeine nullifies to help you stay awake and alert for longer.
Apps to Improve Rest and Recovery
It is very common to find yourself battling a racing brain not letting you fall asleep. Sleep-aiding apps can help achieve your daily sleep goal, helping your body recuperate better.
Let’s look at some apps that help you calm your mind in overdrive and fall asleep faster, improving your circadian rhythm.
Calm is ideal for people who like to have listening material prior to falling asleep. It has a great directory of relaxing stories narrated by familiar voices such as Matthew McConaughey and Stephen Fry.
You get new content every week with a paid subscription and create your profile based on your selection. It helps track your preferences and makes recommendations. You can also get guidance on meditation, breathing, and stretching exercises.
With over 500 programs, this is a great app for people new to pre-bed meditation. It aids in alleviating high levels of anxiety and stress hindering a sleep wave through guided meditation. It is also compatible with Apple Health. It is great for mindfulness and enhancing focus.
Headspace’s additional features like “Move Mode” exercises, the “SOS” feature for episodes of extreme stress and anxiety, and mini-meditations spanning only over 2-3 minutes. They help lower the stress levels through the day for a restful night.
- Sleep Easy
This app is useful for people dealing with sleep disorders like sleep apnea and other disorders like sleep apnea or insomnia, restless leg syndrome, or jet lag. Sleep Easy is also useful for people who are trying to let go of sleep-aiding medication. You will love this app if you like falling asleep to music with its library of sleep-aiding music programs.
This app allows for consultation with accredited sleep experts customized to your needs. You will find useful resources about neurophysiological factors contributing to restlessness, and sleep hygiene practices.
Oura is a hardware-based solution with a ring that you can slip on before bed. This article has sensors that detect signals in your body to track sleep activity, pulse, and body temperature while you sleep. Tracking these factors helps highlight areas of concern. This can be monitored over Oura’s app. Working on them would mean better sleep.
This app operates on FDA-approved Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia. Since this app is for chronic insomniacs, you will need to consult your physician prior to using it. Somryst has a questionnaire that you can fill out followed by a consultation with a sleep doctor.
Through this app, you can gain insight into your sleep disorder and learn science-backed habits and strategies to help you overcome challenging insomnia.
The app comes with a meditation training device. You hold the small sphere while Core helps you through a meditative exercise. It is especially helpful for people who find it hard to meditate, by centering their attention and breath following the vibrations originating from the sphere device.
This device also has highly sophisticated ECG biosensors that check up on your progress. With the Bluetooth connectivity feature, it is also very aesthetic and looks great on your bed stand.
An adult needs a minimum of seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Over 30% of Americans are unable to meet that requirement and are sleep-deprived. This is an alarmingly high number.
Lack of essential sleep hours not only defers your fitness goals but is also detrimental to the health of your vital organs. If you are suffering from a sleep disorder, or fatigue and exhaustion due to insufficient sleep, it is advisable to find your perfect sleep aid app.