This year, Team WAG is putting a twist on the common New Year’s Resolution. Instead of just 1 goal, we will have 12 — one for each month of 2017. & we hope you choose to join us! Below is our March goal.

“Aim for 7-8 hours of shuteye each night,” a statement we’ve heard our entire lives.

Yet for many of us, actually getting that much sleep is more like a fairytale than reality. This month’s #WAGGoal is focused on getting into a better sleeping schedule.

Your brain is like a muscle. While you go about your daily activities your brain is working out. It’s trying to process everything and get fitter, faster and stronger. Just like you, the brain hates having a bad day at the gym.

Let’s take a deeper look into what is actually happening while your body is in the various stages of sleep and how it benefits your training.

Where Skills Are Learned

We blame our forgetfulness and clumsiness on being tired for a reason — it’s directly related to sleep quality.

Sleep is where your memory builds muscles. You may learn new information during the day, but the brain requires adequate sleep to be able to recall it later.

Have you ever tried to learn a new skill in the gym, only to feel frustrated that you’re not quite picking it up? Then you try again the next day and nail it?

It’s because you’ve slept on it!

During sleep your brain and nervous system process the new motor patterns that you spend so long practicing.

Where Nervous Reactions Are Good

While you’re asleep your nervous system is getting its own dose of shuteye, too. During sleep the various parts of your nervous system actually take turns shutting off to rest and recover.

If you’re training hard at the gym your body is relying on sleep to be able to do it all over again the next day.

If you’re an athlete doing double training sessions, taking naps in between is essential for your nervous system to recover for that second session.

Where Gains Are Made

Your body distributes the most hormones during deep sleep. In fact, there are some hormones that are distributed exclusively during sleep.

For those of you working to put on more muscle, I’m talking about the growth hormone in particular!

Want to get big? Then sleep big!

Where Recovery Begins

The rate at which you recover from illness and injury is significantly increased during sleep.

While you’re asleep your body is able to turn down some of its focuses and redirect it to combating sickness, healing wounds and repairing bodily damage.

WAG Challenge for March

Sleep plays a huge role in reaching your goals, whether they’re performance, body composition or health — so this month's challenge is to get more sleep and monitor it (and, if you’re a WAG member, share your findings with your coach).

This challenge will help you gauge the impact your quality of sleep is having on you.

  1. Print the Sleep Tracking Sheet at the bottom of the page and keep it by your bed.
  2. Take 30 seconds each day to fill out your sleep tracking sheet.
  3. If you’re on the WAG program, update your coach during your weekly check-in with what you’ve noticed about your sleep.
  4. Stay accountable and encourage others by sharing your successes using #WAGGoals — how did a good night's sleep benefit you today?!

Then, watch your newfound knowledge of your sleep quality drive your progress forward!