It might seem unusual why Muskultura has a whole page devoted only to sleeping which is “such a simple thing”. However, great many people don’t sleep long enough and during the best time. That’s why we decided to devote greater attention to this exceptionally important matter and clarify some key elements. Why is sleeping irreplaceable if you want real gains?
And of course, sleep is part of the holy trinity of muscle building: training, nutrition and sleeping.
Sleeping is more powerful than all the supplements in the world and there is no substitute for it, neither for bodybuilding purposes nor everyday activities, work, study. It has enormous influence on your mood, emotions, energy levels, concentration, metabolism, strength, immune system…
The greatest part of your weight-training results takes time during sleep.
The body and muscles grow mostly during sleep. After working out, they recover mainly during this period.
The majority of testosterone and HGH release occurs during sleep. That’s why it is important to have uninterrupted sleep.
Waking up during sleep is always accompanied by additional secretion of cortisol minutes after.
Drinking large amounts of liquid before bed can significantly reduce the quality of your sleep and cause occasional waking. The urinary system is significantly less active at that time. But if you drink liquids before bed, even if you don’t wake up during the night, your sleep will be shallow and it is highly probable that you will wake up not well-rested.
Don’t drink any liquids over 300 ml at least two hours before bed. If you drink your protein shake and other supplements before bed, do it with less liquid. A dose of protein shake before bed doesn’t have to be made with 500 ml of water.
Carbohydrates taken before bedtime can also cause insufficient sleep. We wake up sleepy, heavy (this is not the only reason for this, but it plays a huge role). And there’s a bonus: carbohydrates don’t allow the maximum release of growth hormone during sleep. It is much better to eat a protein meal with a good amount of healthy fats before going to bed. Try it and see.
However, all sleep is not of same quality. Napping, drowsing, dosing off are not substitutes for being asleep at least eight hours. Sleeping during the night is better than sleeping during the day. Those working the night shift should ensure 8-9 hours sleeping during the day and take extra care to get high-quality nutrition.
There are a huge number of factors that can disrupt sleep. One of the biggest is elevated cortisol.
Elevated cortisol has an antagonistic (opposite) effect on melatonin, which is the hormone that regulates and stimulates sleep.
- Inability to fall asleep
- Waking up overnight
- Shallow, poor quality sleep
- Waking up feeling tired besides good number of sleeping hours
- Fatigue during the day
- Additionally elevated cortisol and all the effects that follow that
Understand that these manifestations are most often CONSEQUENCES of poor sleep, not CAUSES.
The most important and ideal elements of a good quality sleep
- It must take at least eight uninterrupted hours during the night.
- The best time to go to bed time is around 10 P.M to midnight. 11 P.M is an optimal mean. The body starts “falling asleep” around 10 P.M.
- Sleeping should take place in as dark and quiet atmosphere as possible.
- A good quality mattress is crucial for a good night’s sleep.
Insufficiency of sleep is cumulative. Being asleep for at least eight hours means eight hours every night. If you have slept 4-5 hours several days during the week, it can’t be compensated with one night of 8-hour sleeping. What is needed is a consistently good sleep.