As bodybuilders and fitness fanatics, we're always on the lookout for more effective ways to gain muscles. This usually involves trying out a new exercise, taking a new supplement, or changing their diets.
But has anyone ever tried investing in a mattress that is created for Athletes or incorporating other sleep improvement techniques in their bodybuilding strategy? Most probably not. That's because we don't perceive sleep and rest to be critical components of the bodybuilding process.
It's about time we change that. In this article, let's figure out how sleep affects bodybuilding, and the sleep tips you need to know to get the gains you want!
When you exercise or lift weights, your muscles get broken down. When you sleep, muscle recovery and regeneration take place. It's only after the muscles have healed that strength is achieved.
Here are the ways how sleep affects the bodybuilding process:
While sleeping, the pituitary gland starts to release the human growth hormone (HGH). This hormone will stimulate the body to produce the anabolic hormones, such as insulin-like growth factor 1 and testosterone, needed for muscle recovery and repair.
Once there's enough level of hormones in our body, the muscles will be facilitated to convert carbohydrates into energy, which is used to facilitate the utilization of amino acids in producing new cells and repairing the tissues that have been broken down during the exercise.
Once the rebuilding process is completed, your muscles and body will be stronger, and you can lift heavier weights, run faster, and exercise longer.
The amount of adenosine secretion in the body reflects the brain's activity level. Studies show that the levels of adenosine are reduced while we're sleeping. This proves that our brain is at rest while we're asleep.
When you get enough sleep at night, your brain will get the rest it needs. It will be recharged the next day so that you will be mentally alert. Mental alertness helps you to concentrate and focus on your routines and achieve peak training performance.
When you have poor cognitive functions (which happens when you lack sleep), you'll not be able to maximize your workouts, and you won't get the gains you want.
Please take note that all the mentioned sleep functions can only be fulfilled if you get the right quantity and quality of sleep. To ensure that you'll get the sleep you need, here are some tips to keep in mind:
To do that, you need to consider lots of things - your bedding quality, sounds, lights, and the temperature in your room.
As much as possible, dim your lights and get rid of any devices that may distract you from your rest. You should also set the thermostat to the ideal room temperature, soundproof your room, or play a white noise machine to drown unwanted sounds.
There are certain night eating habits that you should get a good night's sleep. For one, avoid consuming heavy meals and drinking liquids a few hours before bedtime. Also, don't drink caffeine beyond noon.
To allow the body to recover fully, you should aim to get 8 to 10 hours of sleep at night.
Our muscles are made up of amino acids, so they are vital to muscle building and recovery. We derive amino acids from proteins that we consume.
When we don't have enough proteins in the body, muscle wasting may occur, and your body will be breaking down more muscles instead of developing them. To prevent this, try consuming protein-rich food (milk, yogurt, or cheese) an hour before you sleep.
Getting enough sleep is a critical aspect of fitness and bodybuilding. After all, it's when we sleep that muscle recovery, and healing takes place. Moreover, not getting enough sleep can have damaging effects not just to our bodybuilding efforts but also to our overall health.
That's why it's time that we pay attention to our rest and recovery too. With the sleep tips we've mentioned, you can get the rest you need and achieve the gains you want!