Sleep. Can’t get enough of it, am I right? What’s even worse is we can be so doggone tired, lay down to go to sleep and then it’s like the checklist you couldn’t get accomplished throughout the day hits you like a train! Now, you feel like you’ll never get to sleep … I’m sure we have all been there. As part of a healthy lifestyle sleep is important for many different reasons like muscular development and physical performance, improves memory, and also gives you a higher level of energy to take on the day! Since we, here at CSL, are geared towards fitness I am going to direct your attention to why sleep is important for muscular development and overall physical performance.
A little information on SLEEP
There are 2 categories that sleep is divided into, REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, and NREM (Non Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. You spend a large portion of the night in NREM and progressively work towards REM sleep about every ninety minutes. The later stages of sleep that your body enters into are the most important when it comes to restorative function. The downside is that you can only get there by getting through the initial stages of sleep. Improving sleep quality is just as important as improving how often you sleep.
Human Growth Hormone
Most of your growth hormone is produced while you sleep and responsible for your physical growth. Some benefits of HGH include but are not limited to:
– Repairs muscles allowing optimal growth
– Increases calcium retention improving bone mass
– Promotes fat loss
– Minimizes fat storage
– Support optimal immune system function
– Keeps your body running smoothly
HGH levels are high in childhood and peak in adolescence. HGH levels begin diminishing after puberty. HGH is constantly being produced throughout our lives and helps regulate the body’s metabolism aiding weight loss.
Recovery, the period during which muscle growth occurs, will not take place without plenty of sleep. Rest and the duration of rest are important for each and every muscle group. The rest time varies according to each muscle group and the intensity at which you trained. It may take your legs 2-4 full days to completely recover where your arms may only take 1-2 days. Full recovery will allow your body to grow in strength and size.
Sleep time is very individualistic. Generally between 6 and 12 hours of sleep will suffice. Although there are super-humans out there like The Rock who seems to function optimally on very little sleep (props to him!) Find the time that works best for you. For myself I have noticed that 6-7 hours allows me to wake feeling energized and refreshed, any more than that and I feel sluggish the entire day!
Sleep tips & tricks!
Below are a few helpful tricks to allow you to turn off your brain and improve your sleep!
– Keep a notepad on your nightstand and jot down anything that comes to your mind. Jot down your “check-list”. Write it down, leave it, and rest! This method allows peace of mind in realizing that you no longer have to think about it any further.
– Utilize calming music to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. I won’t lie, I have had to use this method on those nights where I just can’t seem to relax. Listening to the sounds of birds chirping, waves crashing, rain, or grasshoppers allows me to mentally focus on those sounds alone eventually leading to sleep.
– Maintain a clean room. This might sound very pre-school but it works! You’d be surprised at how many adults go to sleep with clothing and shoes thrown everywhere, papers and deadlines sitting on dressers, etc. By picking up after yourself and placing any work related paper or information in the dining room or living area, you are promoting a stress free environment that allows for optimal sleep rest. The atmosphere in which you rest in plays a huge role on you mentally and eventually physically.
– Utilize the use of a casein protein or a blended protein like CSL’s Clinical Protein before you go to sleep. I am famous for getting in bed, falling asleep, and waking up in the middle of the night hungry (I know I’m not the only one!) Your body goes through a period of starvation while you sleep pulling from its energy stores. For people trying to build muscle this can be detrimental. Try supplementing with a blended protein that contains slow digesting proteins right before you go to bed. The slow digesting protein allows your body to take in nutrients throughout the night while you sleep keeping you satisfied and avoiding hunger. This also allows your body to fuel itself from those nutrients and not your muscles, bonus! CSL’s Clinical Protein also contains mct’s (medium chain triglycerides) that provide cellular energy for repair. These mct’s aid in muscular recovery while you sleep! Avoid muscular cannibalism and enhance muscular recovery with Clinical Protein! Click the image for more information.
Thanks for reading, Meagan
Meagan Kunisch is the lead
editor for Clinical Sports Labs.
Please feel free to visit her