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Why Sleep Is So Important For Bodybuilding

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We all know that gaining substantial muscle and keeping it on truly is an art form and one of the best and most crucial ways is making sure you get adequate sleep each night. Bodybuilding is a combination of proper exercise, clean dieting, great supplementation alongside a minimum of 8 hours sleep each and every night.

Lack of sleep leads to a gain in weight, muscle being burned rather than fat and also a decreased output in energy levels.

You could be doing everything else right, but if your body is only getting 4 hours of rest per evening unfortunately you are not going to see the results you desire. Sleep is commonly overlooked by many individuals who are trying to workout as they don’t see if as having any real benefit as the process of sleeping does not involve any real physical activity.

Sleep is such an important factor of our lives and aims to fulfill so many important bodily functions such as muscle repair, mental awareness and energy levels.

What exactly happens to your body during sleep?

When the body is sleeping is when protein synthesis starts to begin considering you have had a protein shake before bed. This change in state produces a growth hormone and the process of muscle building begins.

The production is HGH plays a pivotal role in the development of muscle tissue and its been shown that in the deepest sleep cycles men release around 70% this chemical every night. The increase in HGH as you sleep actuall helps the muscles capacity to absorb essential amino acids that come from the protein.

You may of read about it, but when you undergo intense workouts your body produces a chemical called Cortisol. Cortisol is actually a hormone that is output by the body and acts as a negative force to chemicals such as testosterone and human growth hormone by breaking down muscle tissue to gain access to amino acids for energy. A study from the Washington State University has uncovered that drawn out periods of sleep deprivation can raise these levels and further detriment your bodybuilding efforts.

sleep bodybuilding

Another important factor is the body’s ability to store Glycogen. Glycogen is a type of glucose compound that we use every day and is stored by the body for use as energy by eating carbs. Lack of sleep wreaks havoc with this process and can cause a depletion in this precious source of fuel. Once you have a lack of Glycogen, your workouts are slower and you generally have less energy.

If you are deprived of sleep and wake up feeling groggy, you are going to really struggle with pushing yourself hard in the gym. Getting the required 7-8 hours a night will make you feel more alive, have a clear head for better concentration and will also help with battling those strong food cravings.

If you want to get a good nights rest its important to follow these important steps:

  1. Make sure you turn off all mobile phones and other devices which could disrupt your patterns
  2. No drinking in the evening – increased alcohol consumption prior to bedtime only leaves your dehydrated and more tired.
  3. Avoid exercising prior to going to bed – Increased activity leads to a rise in body temperature and the brains production putting you into overdrive.
  4. Avoid Drinking Coffee – Caffeine can help increase energy levels and is great as a pre workout, but avoid taking in the afternoon and evenings
  5. Sleep with the window open – If the weather is not too cold out side, try opening a window to ensure your room is well ventilated.
  6. Make sure you go to bed at a reasonable time – sitting up on the lapop until 2AM looking at videos will not help your situation

Additional Resources

You Snooze, You Win: 7 Useful Sleep Tips – Bodybuilding.com
Lack Of Sleep And Bodybuilding – Livestrong.com

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