Researchers at the David Geffen School of Medicine in LA have conducted a study that links sleep coaching to fitness and performance.
According to the research, which was commissioned by US fitness club Equinox, “sleep coaching” requires a coach to change their client’s lifestyle habits in order to improve their quality of sleep. Lifestyle changes can include, but aren’t limited to, alcohol consumption, bathroom habits, bed times, and even sleeping positions.
“There are a lot of things that interfere with our ability to sleep well because we’re often pulled in many different directions,” explains David Harris, vice president, health and human performance at Equinox in an interview with Fast Company. “The first thing we wanted to really understand [was] how are people living on a daily basis as it relates to their desired fitness outcome.”
The results showed a significant improvement when sleep coaching was incorporated as part of a holistic training program. Researchers identified that improved sleep quality resulted in metabolic threshold increase of 29.8 per cent, with a body fat percentage loss of 17.2 per cent over the 12-week study period.
Watch: The 7-minute bodyweight challenge
In another boost to fitness, a good night’s sleep can be harnessed to increase strength and muscle growth. It’s been reported that eating a high-protein meal just prior to sleeping can increase protein synthesis, and is a peak condition for the release of natural human growth hormone. According to research, up to 70 per cent of male human growth hormone is secreted during sleep, so disrupting these patterns can limit the amount released.
Long story short… get some high quality zzz’s, and hire a sleep coach if necessary.