When you’ve had a long and tiring workout, you just want to go home and sleep. You feel satisfied knowing that when you wake up, you’re ready to take on another day at the gym for successful growth.
How do we fall asleep?
In a simple manner, your internal body clock recognizes your environment. When it is bright, your brain signals to your body that it is daytime. When it is dark or night time, your body automatically releases a chemical called melatonin. You will start to feel drowsy as your melatonin level increases.
If you’re a bodybuilder and you’re aiming for a more muscular size, don’t disregard the importance of sleeping. There are certain hormones released for muscle reconstruction during sleep. You will recharge your mind and mentally recuperate to prepare for your next day’s workout during your sleep.
Benefits and the importance of sleeping
How many hours?
How long do we have to sleep? If we lack sleep, we feel weak and don’t want to get up from bed. If you give in and oversleep though, all you get is feeling even sleepier and a throbbing headache.
According to National Sleep Foundation, there is a specific number of hours we should be sleeping depending on which age group we belong to.
AGE GROUP AND HOURS OF SLEEP
0-3 Months —> 12-18
4-11 Months —> 14-15
1-2 Years —> 12-14
3-5 Years —> 11-13
6-13 Years —> 10-11
14-17 Years —> 8.5-9.5
18-25 Years —> 7-9
26-64 Years —> 7-9
65+ —> 7-8
What are the benefits to my body?
It’s a win-win situation when you get enough sleep every day. Here is what happens when you don’t lack sleep:
• Your body regulates insulin to control your blood sugar thus lowering your risk for diabetes.
• During sleep, your body recovers. It repairs damaged cells. Your muscles grow and heal themselves during your sleep.
• Natural growth hormones are released. It is important for children, teens, and adults.
• Your immune system strengthens during your sleep. It helps you fend off common sicknesses that you may otherwise catch from the people around you and your environment.
Enhanced Performance and Senses
When you’ve only had a few hours of sleep, the tendency is that you feel uncomfortable throughout your day. You will only disappoint yourself by not performing well in your activities. Sufficient sleep improves your performance in a significant way.
• You’ll have a lower chance of getting into car accidents because you will be aware of the hazards around you. If you drive and you still feel a little bit sleepy, your life is already at risk.
• You won’t feel lazy in your line of work because you are well rested. You wouldn’t want to get fired just because you are caught sleeping on the job, do you?
• As a student, listening to lectures won’t be hard because you can focus more on lessons.
Importance of Sleeping for My Muscles
I have been lifting for around six years now and I have experienced the importance of discipline in my workouts, maintaining a proper diet, and getting all the sleep I can get. I have been working hard for it because I wanted to improve my body and see what I can do with it.
I started lifting when I was in 3rd-year high school because it was a fad amongst my friends. I would always stay up late because of my school works and my social life. I never saw the importance of sleeping to grow muscle. One day, I realized that I wasn’t getting any bigger, and I always looked tired. My performance in lifting was getting poorer and poorer every single day. I didn’t think it was my diet though because I was eating clean.
It wasn’t until the summer break when I was finally getting enough rest and sleep that I noticed an improvement in my lifting performance. My lifts increased. I was burning excess fat and gaining leaner muscle.
That’s when I realized that I should never take the amount of time to rest for granted. Lifting weights is just a part of the process, and the diet is just another. Rest and sleep is just as essential for muscle growth.
Sleeping Advice for Muscle Growth
1No more lifting near bedtime
• Even after your workout, your adrenaline is still pumping. You’ll likely toss and turn if you lift too near before your sleeping time.
2Turn off your electronic devices
• Your senses reactivate themselves under the influence of light. Make sure to turn off your gadgets. Using your mobile phone or tablet disrupts the production of melatonin thus making you wide awake.
3Keep to your sleeping schedule
• Keep track of your sleeping schedule. If your sleeping schedule gets disrupted, you will have difficulties sleeping and waking up on time.
4Control your caffeine intake
• For the coffee lovers out there, coffee makes you more hyperactive and will keep you from falling asleep easily. I suggest that you only take caffeine in the morning, and the latest would be in the afternoon.
Sleep deficiency, in general, is harmful to us. It can do a lot of damage and in an instant, it can take away one’s life. The importance of sleeping is bliss. With our fast-paced culture today, we need to find time to get enough sleep as much as we can.
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Author: Gregory Brown
Gregory is the chief editor at ConstructMuscles.com. He spends half of my time on his blog while the other half on being a physical fitness trainer. Believing in the great benefits of bodybuilding and fitness to the body, he has been motivated to become a fitness enthusiast. Stay Connected with him on Twitter.