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Recovery is half the battle when it comes to building muscle and accomplishing our... Read More
Recovery is half the battle when it comes to building muscle and accomplishing our fitness goals. The faster we can recover the more time and effort we can dedicate towards exercise. The intensity of your exercise, your diet, and how well you sleep all have a huge impact on how well you recover. Most athletes should aim to get between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. In addition to the amount of time you sleep, getting high quality uninterrupted sleep is paramount to preforming your best. When you enter deeper stages of sleep, your muscles begin to see an increase in blood circulation which transports oxygen and essential nutrients throughout your body. This process aids recovery, repairs muscles, and regenerates cells. Hormones also play a significant role in experiencing muscle growth and recovery during deep sleep. While we sleep, muscle building GH (growth hormone) is secreted in our body which is crucial for anyone seeking to grow in size and strength. Growth hormone production mostly happens during deep sleep, often referred to as stage 3 of non-REM sleep. Without sufficient sleep the production of growth hormone is impaired, leading to prolonged muscle soreness and plateaus in muscle growth. Another benefit to experiencing deep sleep is that our muscles relax, reliving the body of built-up tension reducing aches and pains. Strength training and weightlifting creates small tears in your muscles. Our cells and tissues repair during deep sleep making them stronger. Sleeping well increases our overall muscle mass and without it our bodies decrease production of a hormone that lets you know your full (leptin). In addition, it increases a hormone that makes you feel hungrier (ghrelin) which is likely to increase the amount of food you eat. Put simply, getting less sleep means you're likely to eat more. To make matters worse a lack of sleep also lowers your sensitivity to the most anabolic hormone our body produces, insulin. This can also impact weight gain. As a result, our muscles fuel source called glycogen may not fully replenish which is essential to preforming high intensity and strenuous exercise. Sleep also improves muscle coordination and memory. It can increase your accuracy, improve reaction time, speed, and an overall increase in athletic performance. We can go on and on talking about how important sleep is for muscle building but at this point I think you've figured it out. There's no substitute for healthy deep sleep and anything we can do to improve our sleep quality should be embraced! Try our sleep aids, you won't regret it and your body will thank you!