When it comes to building muscle, you might be more likely to focus on weights or protein intake than sleep. While you might think nothing important happens when you’re unconscious, it turns out a lot goes on with your body. A good night’s rest is one of the most fundamental tools for building muscle.
Want to maximize your muscle recovery after a tough workout? Then read on to learn why you can’t skip out on a full night of sleep.
Sleep Is A Secret Muscle-Building Weapon
So you’ve put in a full day of exercise, and now it’s time for bed. It’s at this point that blood glucose comes into play. During sleep, glucose gets stored in the muscle as “muscle glycogen.” It’s true that glucose exists in other parts of the body, but it’s actually muscle glycogen that’s preferred; it produces way more energy than glucose taken from the bloodstream.
Glucose overall is very important to the body as it’s the only type of sugar that your body can break down for energy. By getting a full night of sleep during muscle recovery, you’re giving the body as much muscle glycogen as possible to fuel itself. Not only that, but proper rest leads to maximum muscle growth.
How A Lack of Sleep Harms Muscle Growth
If you want maximum muscle growth, the worst thing you can do for your body is skimp on sleep. A study on sleep’s effect on muscle recovery showed both optimal results and harmful outcomes. Individuals in the study slept either for 8.5 hours or 5.5 hours during a period of about three days. Those who were able to get a full night’s sleep gained 40 percent muscle mass. Meanwhile, the sleep-deprived group lost about 60 percent of their muscle mass.
Sleep is the time during which the body releases hormones that repair and grow the muscle tissue. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’re missing an opportunity to let your body heal and strengthen your muscles.
Tips for Maximizing Muscle Recovery
There are a few easy steps to allow you to get the most out of each full night of sleep.
First, avoid doing any high-intensity workouts within three hours of bedtime. Although a tough workout is excellent for energizing the body, this isn’t something you want to do to yourself right before preparing for sleep. All that excess energy will make it tough for you to rest properly. Instead, do some night time stretches. They’re more likely to help you sleep better.
You should also stay on a regular sleep schedule. You’re a creature of habit whether you know it or not, and your body prefers to hit the sack around the same time every day. By setting a regular sleep routine, you prepare and train your body to get the right amount of rest.
Lastly, try to maintain good sleep hygiene overall. These are habits and behaviors that give you the chance to enjoy the best possible sleep each night.
Sleep is a deceptively important part of your overall muscle building regimen. Don’t cut back on bed rest, and you’ll maximize your muscle growth and recovery.
Post contributed by Sarah Johnson @ Tuck