In bodybuilder’s life not only properly prepared training, good diet or supplementation are important. To achieve your dreamed shape you also need healthy sleep!
Over the last few years bodybuilding has become very popular. Competitors are looking for new ways to increase their performance and gain mass faster, forgetting about the key factor that affects their proper functioning. The body, especially the one exposed to high physical effort, must have a sufficiently long time to regenerate. Insufficient relaxation time will not allow tired muscles to rest, making them less efficient during subsequent activities. Sleep is designed to regenerate not only the body, but also the brain, so its role in building bodybuilding form is crucial.
Phases of sleep
The human brain goes through several cycles and phases during sleep, with each cycle lasting between 90 and 100 minutes. Sleep scientists have distinguished between two basic types of sleep REM and non-REM. REM comes from the term “Rapid Eye Movement” meaning rapid eye movements. It is assumed that statistically each person goes through 4 phases of non-REM sleep and one REM sleep. It follows that deep REM sleep, during which our body regenerates the most, is only 20-25% of the whole cycle in adults. During this time the brain works the most actively and produces dreams, however it is the last phase of the sleep cycle. The greatest rest our brain gets a while earlier, in the third and fourth phase, which is from 30 to 40% of the entire sleep. This is the last of the non-REM phases, and during this phase we reach the deepest level of sleep.
The benefits of an adequate amount of sleep
It is accepted that the optimal amount of sleep is an uninterrupted range between 7 and 8 hours per day. During sleep, the body produces many hormones, including testosterone. Studies have shown that the human body produces up to 70% of its daily growth hormone content during rest. Poor quality sleep can negatively affect its production, which means that muscle growth will be significantly less. Studies have also shown that during the REM phase, the body is able to regenerate muscle tissue, organs and micro-damage to bones. Proper sleep intake also boosts immunity, affects overall mood and well-being, balances heart rate and helps maintain adequate blood pressure.
Effects of not getting enough sleep
Lack of proper sleep leads to exhaustion of the body. The body does not have time to regenerate properly and prepare for the next day’s exercise. Lack of sleep causes the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. The hormone has catabolic properties, which means that the body in search of energy uses the resources stored so far, such as proteins in the muscles. This process leads to a decrease in their volume, which is an undesirable effect for a bodybuilder. Insufficient sleep also has a negative effect on the metabolism process. The production of testosterone also occurs during sleep. The male hormone affects muscle building, libido levels and adds vitality. Less sleep means reduced testosterone production.
How to improve your sleep?
Healthy and long rest is the basis of good functioning of the body. It is worth to facilitate the comfort of sleep, so that it is as efficient as possible. The basis of such comfort is a properly fitted mattress. A good sleeping surface should adapt to the shape of the body and have an appropriate level of hardness, then the spine will regenerate better. The sleeping room should maintain a constant temperature, be well ventilated and darkened. The conditions in the bedroom will help you fall asleep faster and sleep the required number of hours. A good idea before going to bed is a hot bath. Warm water will warm up your body and relax your tired muscles after a workout. Evening exercise will also help in getting effective rest. The body after exhausting exercises itself demands rest, so it will be easier to fall into a deep and healthy sleep in a natural way.
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