Did You Know Sleep Helps Your Muscles Recover and Grow?
What does sleep have to do with muscle growth? That’s a good question we’ll try to answer in this article. Sleep and regular exercise is the perfect combo to a healthy lifestyle. They both have major impacts on both the physical and biological aspects of your body. They usually work well when they’re in synch. In other words, you won’t exercise well if you don’t sleep well and you won’t sleep well unless you exercise. So what can you do get your sleep and exercise in synch? Here are some tips for you!
1. Create a consistent exercise schedule
Start by identifying:
- The type of exercises you’re interested in
- The best time for you to exercise.
Note: Physical exercise increases your body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure which wakes your body up rather than relaxing it. Choose your timing wisely. Studies have shown that people who did cardio at 7 AM, had a much deeper sleep compared to those who did cardio at 7 PM. People who did weights later in the day slept a lot better than those who did cardio later in the day. Physical exercise can be a fantastic way to reduce your stress levels but it also raises your body temperature. Raising your body temperature increases your energy levels making it harder to fall asleep.
Tip: Try to schedule intense workouts earlier in the day and do lighter exercises at night.
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2. Be aware of your body
How much do you “listen” to your body? Chances are, not much… It’s time to learn how your body works in terms of sleep and exercise. Here is some basic info to get you started:
- Hormones are chemical messages sent throughout our bodies. They control our bodily functions, moods, and emotions.
- Melatonin is our sleep hormone. It fluctuates over a 24-hour period based on our internal body clock. Low melatonin levels can disrupt your sleep pattern.
- Growth Hormone helps you maintain body structure and metabolism, which is increased by sleeping.
- Testosterone is the building block for muscle. Testosterone is a key hormone for both females and males to increase muscle growth. It promotes new cell production and ensures bone strength.
- Resets your brain. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since sleep is vital to a healthy life. Sleep deprivation can generate a lack of focus and productivity which can negatively impact your workout.
- Repair your organs and muscles. Taking adequate time to recover and sleep is extremely important to healthy post-work recovery. During sleep, our bodies repair organs and muscle tissue ensuring you’re in good shape to workout.
3. Understand the benefits of sleep on your body
Once you do, your life will be forever changed. We often look at the positive impacts of sleep on mental health but wait until you hear about the impacts it has on your physical health. Let’s have a look at the most important benefits of sleep on your body:
- Promotes muscle growth,
- Allows your mind to recover,
- Boosts your immune system,
- Repairs damaged muscles.
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4. Try to turn in a little earlier
Easier said than done, right? But this is such a simple way to improve your workout. Remember, sleep is essential for an excellent workout result. Tip: If you struggle with creating a night routine, try to keep a sleep journal. Every night and every morning, write down the times you went to bed and woke up. This will help you create a new nightly routine.
5. Give your muscles enough time to recover
Your muscles need time to rest, especially after an intense workout sesh. Skipping recovery is NEVER not a good option. Sleep is the most important part of muscle recovery as it’s the main time our body uses to repair and strengthen muscles. All stages of sleep play an important role in muscle recovery:
- Stage 1: When you start to fall asleep and your brain starts getting ready for sleep.
- Stage 2: You fall into a light sleep and your brain slows down. Your body starts to prepare for deep sleep and produce Human Growth Hormone (HGH).
- Stage 3: The blood supply to your muscles increases, you produce more HGH and your body produces a hormone called prolactin that helps your joints recover.
- Stage 4: The deepest stage of sleep is the REM stage when you experience dreams. Your muscles are supplied with extra oxygen to break down lactic acid. Lack of REM can result in muscle knots build-up.
Sleep provides the primary support for muscle growth and repair. Without proper sleep, your body can’t fully recover after a workout. Exercising without adequate rest puts you at higher risk of injury, hugely impacting your workout schedule. It seems like something small but you really need to prioritize sleep to get valuable results out of your workout. Sleep is just as essential as food and water and needs to be treated that way; without a proper night’s sleep, your mind can’t think and your body can’t work out to its full potential. Exercise + Sleep = Healthy Balanced Lifestyle!
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