• Joshua Li

Is poor sleep effecting your results?

We all know how vital the functions of sleeping is - both mentally and physically. As little as 4-5 hours sleep and we wake up feeling the effects of little energy for the day and mental alertness suffers. You may even find writing emails first thing in the morning somewhat a tough task!

But how does sleep affect those wanting to get better results in the gym? Besides the obvious training and nutrition program, without adequate rest, your body will fail to adapt.

During sleep, growth hormone is produced and protein synthesis (given protein is consumed pre bed) occurs.

Both these functions take place under conditions of sleep. Growth Hormone secretion occurs during early sleep which is typically when the deepest sleep cycle occurs.

Stages of Sleep

We go through cycles of sleep (5 stages) , Stage 1, 2, 3, 4 then REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and this cycle repeats every 90 - 100 minutes. It is at REM we are at complete rest and the body is able to:

Restore organs, bone and tissue

Replenish immune cells

Circulate human growth hormone

With cycles at 90-100 minutes, 4-5 hours sleep our brain would reach the beneficial REM stage just 3 times, where 7 hours would see us in the REM stage, 5 times!

Here are some tips to take:

  1. Avoid Alcohol and caffeine during evening - Alcohol disrupts sleep by interfering with the stages. Caffeine causes hyperactivity.

  2. Avoid Sleeping Pills - Work temporarily but will affect long term sleeping patterns.

  3. Offset light - Keep away from television and ensure curtains block out the street lights.

  4. Never Oversleep - Have the morning off work and oversleep, will cause you to wake up late and struggle to sleep that day.

Sleep is important for many reasons. It restores the brain function and alertness. Great for your hard working day as well as a hard gym session.

By sleeping 7-8 hours we experience more stages of REM so we can enhance muscular recovery through protein synthesis and human growth hormone release. Sleep to grow and be be more alert both at work and in the gym.





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