Good night's sleep is a #FitnessGoal, too
Sleep deprivation can also lead to an increase production of cortisol or stress hormone.- Alamy Image
Dubai - Regular exercise can improve our sleeping habit and a good night's sleep can boost energy levels.
Many of us are willing to adopt a healthy, active lifestyle, but when days get busy and schedules too tight, we end up asking: Which is more important - getting enough sleep or squeezing in time to exercise?
Health experts said we shouldn't put ourselves in such a situation because we absolutely need both.
Regular exercise can improve our sleeping habit and a good night's sleep can boost energy levels.
On the other hand, chronic poor sleep can put us at an increased risk of having serious medical conditions, such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
"Sleep deprivation can also lead to an increase production of cortisol or stress hormone. If there is an imbalance in hormones, less insulin is released after we eat and, with increased cortisol, may lead to a concentration of glucose in the bloodstream. This will increase the risk for Type 2 diabetes," said Dr Ghassan Haj Kaddour, gastroenterologist and internal medicine specialist at Burjeel Hospital Sharjah.
Dr Kaddour told Khaleej Times that it is important to sleep well and long enough to become fit and recover from a stressful day at work.
"It is also important to develop a physical regimen to increase our endurance and become stress-free."
According to studies, people who regularly exercise get a good night's sleep because working out produces adenosine, the chemical that caffeine blocks to make you feel more alert.
Once adenosine is sent to our brain, it makes us feel more sleepy than any chemically produced sleeping pills. So this means the harder we work out, the more driven we are by this sleep element.
Meanwhile, if we don't get enough sleep, we tend to get exhausted to easily, making it harder for us to drag ourselves to the gym.
"Walking, running or cycling at least four times weekly will improve our circadian rhythm and boost our sleep," explained Dr Ghassan.
"Late-day exercise is preferred to make someone fall asleep early at night. However, pre-sleep exercise must be moderate."
The bottom line is: Both sleep and physical activity should never be compromised. One cannot have one without the other. Surely, there must be a way to loosen up that busy schedule.
LULL YOURSELF TO SLEEP
>Turn off all electronics at night
>Don't sleep in the afternoon
>Place your neck in a good sleeping position
>Refrain from having coffee or tea in the evening
>Finish eating one hour before sleep
>Drink warm milk in the evening
>Dim the lights
>Close the windows
>Think happy thoughts
Source: Dr Ghassan Haj Kaddour, gastroenterologist and internal medicine specialist at Burjeel Hospital Sharjah