Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. It is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. More than 35% of people are sleep deprived. This means 1 in 3 people aren’t getting enough on a regular basis. Isn’t it funny how we dreaded bedtime as children and look forward to it as adults? If you are working, going to school, maybe both, or just have a hectic routine I am sure you can relate. We have (wonderful) things like coffee, energy drinks and tea to help us energize us on days we need a little boost but becoming dependent on these things long-term can not be ideal, especially if you are big into fitness. If you aren’t active you may not need as much sleep as the next person. When you lead an active lifestyle, your body needs rest. When you are well rested, you perform at your best capacity. We all know that feeling mid workout when you want to give up because you are so tired. And I think everyone has had that time where they have chosen sleep over a workout. The goal is to schedule your day to get in 7 to 8 hours of sleep along with time for physical activity, to balance the effects of both. If you are completing intense workouts, you may need even more than that 8 hour span in order to recover your muscles in preparation for the next workout.