The importance of eating a healthy diet and regular training cannot be overstated. However, your physique, performance, and mental capacity will suffer without enough sleep.
Here are more ways to rest and help improve your overall body.
Maximizing Sleep, Recovery, and Muscle Growth
If you’re looking to build muscle and get stronger, getting a good night’s sleep is key. Growth hormone, one of the most important compounds for gaining size, is primarily produced when we sleep.
A period of deep sleep can increase your normal daily growth hormone levels by up to three times. This is important not only for the uptake of amino acids for tissue repair and muscle growth but also for using body fat as energy.
Testosterone is reduced by lack of sleep. Reducing your sleepover during a week can slash T-levels by over 10%.
Both growth hormone and testosterone production are affected by the level of sleep within a circadian rhythm, a daily cycle revolving mainly around light and darkness in a given environment. In general, you should aim to match your natural sleep schedule when it’s dark and wake up when it becomes light.
To optimize your sleep cycle, avoid excessive exposure to light during the night. Before bed, turn off all lights and electronic devices. If you have difficulty sleeping because of work schedule changes, consider purchasing blackout blinds and alarm clocks set at a lower light intensity.
Sleep Deprivation and Weight Gain
A low body fat percentage is also important for an overall physique. Many studies have found that having less sleep can lead to obesity and fat accumulation.
Changes in hormone levels can impact weight loss. Leptin, your body’s satiety hormone, will decrease while ghrelin, which regulates and boosts appetite, will be raised significantly. This combination likely leads to overeating and more weight gain.
People who eat many processed foods with additives may be exposed to chemicals that can interfere with sleep. Opt for healthier, whole foods high in minerals like zinc, magnesium, and tryptophan to get the same benefits without any potential side effects. You can also take a ZMA supplement to cover the same ground as these foods.
Changes in hormones brought on by insufficient sleep can impact weight loss. Cravings compound this for high-sugar, high-salt foods.
Boosting Brain Function Through Proper Sleep
Poor sleep can have several negative consequences, not just for your physical appearance. Severely impaired sleep creates a kind of mental “sleep” that plays back on you when awake, constricting the ability to process thoughts and problems adequately.
Belgian scientists found that a good night’s sleep can protect your mood and cognitive abilities. A study at Lancaster University in the UK found that when people were not getting enough sleep, their problem-solving and critical thinking skills suffered. This information is essential for professionals who need to be alert and focused during tasks and those who are training hard for athletic competitions.
There are several ways to reduce stress in modern life, leading to poorer sleep quality. For example, if you have problems with work or relationships, try and resolve them as quickly as possible before bed so that you don’t keep your brain active all night. Stress is also a significant factor in reducing the quality of sleep.”
Relax by taking a short walk while listening to calming music, stretching, and foam rolling. These activities can help reduce muscle soreness and tension.
Bonus Sleep Tips
Cut down on caffeine: Caffeine is a proven and worthy training aid, but if your sleep is suffering and you know you depend on the drug, perhaps it’s time to cut back for a short while. Too much caffeine can fatigue the adrenal glands and damage sleep quality. When reintroducing caffeine at a safe level, you will then be able to enjoy its stimulatory benefits.
See a specialist: If you are having trouble sleeping, an underlying issue may need to be resolved. Consult your doctor and psychiatrist for help.