Few things in life are more important, more wonderful, and more neglected than sleep! Over the last decade or two, the science of sleep has really awoken to all of its benefits as well as to the negative effects of impaired sleep. Of course it doesn't take a scientist to realize that sleep is important but for some of us it only takes one night of compromised sleep and we feel like the walking dead!
Despite the scientific proof of its benefits, sleep's importance still seems to be underrated by many exercisers and fitness enthusiasts. I'll see and hear gym members dragging themselves around the gym trying to will themselves through a workout. Without proper sleep, a quality workout is very unlikely to happen. A double shot of espresso or a pre-workout drink spiked with caffeine is really only a Band-Aid to the problem.
The solution? Get to bed each night at a regularly scheduled time and try to get 6–8 hours of quality sleep (I know, real ground-breaking info, huh? Some of us just need the reminder!) Shut off the computer and try to begin winding things down at least an hour before retiring. Throw the cat in the garage so she doesn't walk all over you all night, and don't watch TV while drifting off to sleep. Make your bedroom cool and dark, turn off your brain, and Oh Yeah — get some Zzzs!