Sleep 101

Another often-overlooked aspect of wellbeing, sleep accounts for around 30% of the time we spend on the planet – making it an incredibly important area for our clients’ health and fitness goals.

In today’s fast-paced world, sleep can often take a back seat behind work, socialising, family, and all the other commitments that our clients are likely to have. But fail to educate your client about sleep, and they’ll be missing out on a vital element for increasing their quality of life – and hitting their goals, from weight loss and muscle building to endurance and longevity.

Here are some of the things that may be helpful for you to cover:

Sleep and hunger

A lack of sleep is directly linked to overeating, which of course will lead to weight gain. There are two important hormones at play here: ghrelin (which stimulates the appetite) and leptin (which decreases it). Lack of sleep causes ghrelin to spike, making you hungry. Poor sleep levels can also kick off a process in the body that raises the level of a certain lipid which stimulates the appetite (a bit like with marijuana). Enough sleep and a proper bedtime routine can make a massive difference to fat loss.

Mental health and productivity

Sleep and mental health are very closely connected in a cycle that can either spiral into poor sleep and poor mental health – or the opposite. Poor sleep leads to worrying. Worrying leads to poor sleep…and so on. Getting a good night’s sleep allows clients to face life’s challenges – including getting themselves to a training session – with energy and self-assurance.


Sleep is an integral part of the recovery and adaptive process between exercise sessions. Good sleep is proven to improve performance and reduce the risk of injury and illness. From intensity and coordination to overall mental fortitude, good sleep is necessary if you want to bring your A-game.

Body composition

Lack of sleep doesn’t just make us hungry: it also directly affects the makeup of our bodies. On top of increased appetite causing fat gain, sleep deprivation has catabolic effects which reduce the basal metabolic rate and cause tissue to break down. If our goals are to lose fat and/or gain muscle, sleep is our new best friend.

Sleep tracking

Tracking sleep is a great way of bringing a client’s attention to it, giving a range of different data about quality and duration of sleep. There are many different ways of doing this, from simple phone-based apps through to more reliable wearable devices (dedicated to sleep or more general wearable trackers).