Looking at the mirror and aiming for a well toned and sculpted body that is any man’s envy? Well think no further, for that dreamy thought is no longer a dream. You can achieve that Greek God body with just two simple steps – hit the gym religiously and sleep well even more religiously.
Yes, for those of you who went back to reread the last line, let me tell you – sleeping is the ultimate mantra to good health and mind, both within and on the outside.
What you look is a reflection of your inner health and who doesn’t want to look his best? So, if you are thinking of building on those muscles, toning your body into the perfect chiseled shape and looking your all time best, remember to catch up with enough sleep. And mind you, it is not about quantity only, quality is what gets the desired result.
So how does the goodness of sleep work wonders for your body and help in building those muscles? We explain to you the magic that sleep plays on your physique.
#1 Sleep promotes repair and restoration: While the cardio, squats, and pushups that you do in the gym no doubt help build your body, at the same time they tear your growing and expanding muscles and tissues and leave them ruptured.
Sleep is the perfect time for your body to repair and restore the damage caused during the waking hours. It is the longest period of time between meals when your body has time to synthesize the proteins. While you sleep, your body produces high quantities of growth hormones, testosterone, and melatonin. All these elements play a vital role in the regeneration and growth of cells within the body. Sleep is the best time for your body to restore all the damage that may have occurred during the workout. However, this sleep enforced restoration should be sustained by adequate nutrition and hydration of the body.
#2 Sleep and Cortisol control: Cortisol relates to a hormone in your body that lowers the levels of testosterone. This adversely affects muscle growth and muscle mass accumulation.
Stress triggers cortisol. So if you are not getting enough sleep and that leaves you stressed, then in a way you are contributing to higher levels of cortisol in your body and hampering muscle growth.
To put it simply, sleep well to reduce stress and thereby lower your cortisol levels.
#3 Sleep recharges your brain: 7-9 hours of ideal sleep are said to revitalize not only your muscles and tissues but also the most worked upon organ of your body – your brain. Just ensure that you are either sleeping on your back or left side and not sleeping on your stomach because that is bad for your health. Quality sleep recharges your brain and rejuvenates your mind and body leaving you more focused, sharp and concentrated at the gym. You practice your training sessions consciously, and they are more likely to produce quicker results than a workout which is done on a half concentrated mind.
#4 Sleep and protein synthesis: The process of protein synthesis within your body is a complicated procedure and is stimulated by various factors-sleep being the most important. Sleep is equivalent to a period of natural fasting. During the late stages of sleep, the insulin and glucose level in your body drops. This period of sleep develops a sensitivity of your body towards the dropping insulin. When a high carb meal is eaten post workout, the insulin levels in the body shoot stimulating the growth of muscles. With a lack of sleep, or poor sleep your body may lose this sensitivity to dropping insulin levels, thereby inhibiting the process of protein synthesis and muscle growth.
#5 Rest to relax: Your body is like a constant ticking clock with different stages or cycles. In the late stages of the night when you are going through the deepest phase of sleep, your mind unwinds and your muscles loosen and relax completely. This is the stage post repair and restoration when there is almost negligible activity happening within your body. This serene phase has a calming effect on your muscles and tissues. A disturbed sleep can deprive your body and muscles of this quintessential relaxation.
#6 Sleep and body fuel: Your body stores glucose in the form of glycogen that is used by muscles later in the form of energy. Insufficient amounts of sleep can disturb or adversely affect your body’s capacity to store glycogen. Eventually, if this happens, you will run out of the essential body fuel or energy when you hit the gym. Thus sleeping well is the first step to building body fuel stock.
#7 Sleep to conserve energy: Building muscles is not only about lifting weights and long training sessions. It is also about conserving energy and not wasting it. Sleep is a natural phase of lowered energy consumption. The energy conserved during sleep is easily and naturally translated to higher levels of energy post your sleep which can contribute to building better muscle mass.
A disciplined workout and proper nutrition are paramount to building a healthy body but treating your body to adequate rest contributes equally in having a holistic impact on your general wellness and health.
So refuel your passion for a good workout with some wholesome sleep. Remember good rest is the enigmatic secret to a better workout!
My name is Ashley Hayes and I am the editor in chief at SleepHeavn. It has been almost a decade since, I was first diagnosed with Insomnia. But believe me since then I have absorbed myself in this intriguing world of sleep. Over the years, I have researched about sleep, talked to experts, read hundreds of journals and talked to family and friends to collect their experiences about sleep, sleep products and all that affects sleep.