Sleep Your Way For More Muscle
Your body is primed to build muscle two times a day—right after your workout and during deep sleep. The three aspects of the muscle building pyramid are nutrition, training and rest. We all pay attention the first two aspects and the last one which is most important is more than often neglected.
The problem with us is that we do not consider sleep as a necessity but only a luxury for the body. Sleep deprivation can have various effects on the body like amnesia, hallucinations and delusions.
“You give your body the chance to repair, recharge, and regrow during sleep,” says expert Dr. Felecia Stoler, DCN, MS, RD, RACSM. “It’s the ideal time to replenish nutrients, and, since your body isn’t moving, it allows the muscles to repair themselves.”
If you are training and trying to gain strength then the most important thing which is required is sleep because it is synonymous with recovery. If you do not provide your body adequate time to recuperate from a hard workout, there is no way that your body will be pumped up for the next one.
Tissues get destroyed after heavy workouts and for repair of those tissues, it is essential to provide the body with nutrients and sufficient sound sleep. According to science your body releases its biggest surge of growth hormone during sleep. Growth hormone plays a critical role in repairing tissues, maintaining muscles, and keeping fat in the cells. Hence it is critical to rest as it has an effect on overall health.
Research has shown that lack of sleep even for one night causes a 20-30% drop in immune system cells that fight cancer and viruses. If sleeplessness continues for a longer time, there is drastic reduction in the number of immune system cells. However the good news is that with a good night’s sleep those cells can get back to normal.
The question which now arises is how much sleep is enough? Well, that differs person to person and on a number of other factors. But ideally one should aim for 7-8 hours of sound sleep.
Our workouts today depend largely on our previous night’s sleep. How well we have slept determines how good our workout shall be today.
As we sleep, energy consumption is lowered, allowing us to use the high-quality food we eat during the day to more efficiently build muscle. Growth hormone is naturally released, improving muscular recovery and regeneration. Also, as we sleep the brain recharges. This is important for building muscle because a rested brain is a motivated and focused brain. In simple terms, when you sleep, you recover, and when you recover you replace, repair, and rebuild—all of which are needed for optimal progress.
As research has shown, sleep is important for many reasons. For individuals under training, sleep is particularly important as it restores brain function and alertness in preparation for intense training sessions. Sleep also enhances muscular recovery through protein synthesis and human growth hormone release. Getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night will promote these factors as well as general well being. Recovery will take a backward step if one does not prioritize sleep, so get to sleep if you want to grow.