There is one saying by Dalai Lama which goes, ‘sleep is the best meditation.’ When you sleep, there are a lot of things that happen in the process. But one of them is that your mind gets the time to function better and even refresh from the daily hassles.
If you are a workout and fitness freak, one of the things you need to prioritize in your day to day activities is enough sleep. Yes, you follow your busy schedule and don’t miss any of your daily workouts. But why do you harm your body by not getting enough sleep? You go to bed late and wake up very early in the morning to run or jog. Don’t you think some good rest would be beneficial to you?
Yes, it would. But you might wonder how sleep is important to you as a bodybuilder. And you know what? Sleeping helps to promote muscle growth and also boost mental alertness. However, this only works in progress, which is why you need enough sleep.
How Long Should You Sleep?
So yes, you sleep every night. But how long is considered enough sleep? According to sleep experts, an adult of between 18 and 65 years should sleep for 7 to 9 hours every night. However, sleep times between 6 and 10 hours are also reasonable, but they are not recommended. If you sleep under 6 hours every day, you will be sleep deprived, and this can affect your alertness during the day. On the other hand, sleeping for over 10 hours is considered oversleeping, and it is unhealthy too.
So, How Does Enough Sleep Help With Body Building?
- Lowered Energy Consumption
You need high levels of energy at all times, especially when you are awake. As you sleep, your body will consume less energy. In other words, this will help to conserve the energy and keep it for the next day activities. If you fail to get enough sleep as a bodybuilder, you may be forced to have 4 to 6 meals daily to supply your body with enough energy.
If you hit the gym, eat appropriately, and have enough sleep, you will be sure of replacing the used up energy in the gym.
- Promotes Digestion
Proper digestion is very important in a bodybuilder’s life. You see, when you eat a balanced diet, especially for dinner, it will start digesting after some hours. This usually happens as you sleep. At this point, your body will absorb food better and slowly as expected.
It implies that you will enjoy all the nutrients you ate because the body will absorb it better. It’s also the reason why most of the weight gain happens during sleep. That is why you need to eat healthy food for dinner. Not only that but, bodybuilders typical consume a lot of protein powder like whey protein, and sleep will help digest protein as well.
- Muscles and Other Tissues are Repaired/Aging, and Dead Cells are Replaced
Sleeping for the recommended number of hours (7-9) hours helps to promote muscle growth. Nevertheless, you should avoid eating just before going to bed. Doing so will harm your muscle growth.
Normally, the human growth hormone will be released as you sleep. Around 60% to 70 % of daily human growth hormone secretion in men happens when you are sleeping. According to studies, the body will restore bones, organs, tissues, produce human growth hormone, and replace immune cells during the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage.
So yes, enough sleep helps to promote muscle growth and the overall physical wellbeing.
- It Refreshes The Brain
There is nothing better than having a recharged brain. It is like rebooting your computer or changing the oil in your car. With a recharged brain, you will experience better cognitive thinking and overall brain functions.
Normally, adenosine is a neurotransmitter that releases an energy-storage molecule (ATP) that powers most of the biochemical reactions inside the cells. As you sleep, there will be a decline in the levels of adenosine. When the adenosine levels drop in the brain, it will, in turn, boost its alertness. In other words, the brain will recharge at this stage.
Generally, any bodybuilder needs enough sleep to promote mental alertness and high energy levels that will be required during the day. When you are mentally alert, you will also be more motivated, which gives you the morale to train hard during the day.
A good bed will also help you sleep better. You can use this guide to help you find a good bed that will boost your sleep.
Healthy Sleep Habits
As you plan to have enough sleep, you should know that some habits will promote good sleep, and others will affect your sleep in general. Here are some tips to help you have a good sleep;
- Avoid oversleeping. You already know the maximum hours you should sleep every night. For that, avoid sleeping for more than 10 hours since it will set the body clock to a different cycle.
- Don’t stop working out. Exercising helps a lot in boosting your sleep. Specifically, incorporate your bodybuilding with some aerobics and stretching for you to sleep better at night.
- Take a warm bath before going to bed. Doing this helps to soothe and relax the nerves and muscles in the body hence giving you a better sleep.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, or food rich in tyrosine at night. Alcohol will disrupt your sleep; caffeine will cause wakefulness and hyperactivity, whereas tyrosine-rich foods will stimulate the brain and keep you awake.
- Sleep in a conducive environment. Always ensure that you sleep in a cool environment, on a firm bed, comfortable cooling mattress, and in silence. All these will help you sleep better.
- Avoid stress and try to relax, especially in the evening. Ideally, do some yoga and meditation to help you relax better.
- Avoid watching TV or using the laptop in bed. This can increase your alertness, and it can affect your sleep patterns too.
- Don’t rely on sleeping pills. Taking sleeping pills can help you, but only temporary. When you stop using them, it can cause disturbed sleep patterns. Plus, some pills can have serious side effects.
- Avoid having dinner immediately before going to bed. However, if you need to eat something before bed, always go for the healthy foods that will promote your sleep
Always ensure that you sleep in a good environment and that you maintain the sleeping hours so that you set your body clock. Don’t forget that sleep is very important for your health.