Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Do active people benefit more from sleep?

I thing that struck me is the idea that training the body through activity may not just train our physical systems but could also train our recovery systems by creating situations where constant intense repair is required. This could have an impact on our overall health because our ability to repair our bodies would relate to our ability to recover from daily challenges.

I could imagine that those who are regularly active and by implication regularly train their body's recovery response would potentially beneift more from any given amount of sleep. Given the busy lives many of us lead and the impact it can easily have in shortening or reducing the quality of our sleep. I could easily envisage a situation where those who are more active and thus fitter and more able to recover could maintain themselves much better on reduced amounts of sleep than those who are less fit.

It's just a theory but when I think of the adaptations our bodies make after physical training it seems each would make restoring the body much easier. I don't have time to pursue this idea now but thought I'd log it to pursue later.

I also wonder whether this ability to recover could have big implications for body shape and weight. Whether the centres of our brain regulate themselves better when we're active and recover better. Again this is just a theory but would explain a little why simply managing calories helps some people lose weight and not others. 
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