Are you looking for some serious fitness gains? Sleep, a major key in making those gains, is often overlooked. Sleep boosts overall muscle mass. Right Here, right now, we are going to make sure you are doing what you can to get the most out of every Z. We know that exercise, sleep, and nutrition are the three most important pillars to building muscle. If one of these areas is lacking, you can guarantee your muscle-building goals and routine will be suboptimal and even potentially damaging.
1. Believe it or not, great sleep starts in the morning
Let the sunshine in first thing in the morning. The sunsets our circadian rhythm, so exposing your skin to sunlight in the morning will set your sleep timer up for success. Morning sun is a win-win as it gives us energy for the day and allows sleepiness to set in at night.
”Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” – Thomas Dekker
2. Stick to a sleep schedule
Our bodies are designed and set to function by an internal clock structure. This naturally sets our body’s sleep-wake cycles, but daily encounters with stress and exposure to artificial light can throw us off. Going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day is the most effective and efficient way to ensure our internal clocks stay on track.
”Sleep is an investment in the energy you need to be effective tomorrow.” – Tom Roth
3. Avoid alcohol before bed
On average, it takes around one hour for the body to process 10ml of alcohol. Although a nightcap or two may induce sleepiness in the early stages of consumption, it reduces the amount of REM sleep- deep dream sleep.
Research has shown that consuming alcohol even four hours before bedtime has resulted in low quality, restless sleep.
FACT: Alcohol suppresses melatonin production in the brain.
4. Step away from the screens
How many times has a good show on Netflix or a series of Instagram or YouTube videos kept you up longer than planned? The answer for most is probably going to be more times than we want to admit.
The most assuring way we can set ourselves up for success is to make a rule to leave all electronics out of the bedroom when settling into bed. If this means setting our alarm, turning on Do Not Disturb, and placing the phone on a dresser across the room before getting in bed, do it. The less temptation, the better.
5. Practice Mindfulness
Reflecting on the day and setting an intention for the next is incredibly centering. Acknowledging the parts of our day that made us proud and identifying what we would like to do differently the next sets the mind up to accomplish those things.
If you don’t get enough quality sleep or have disruptions to a full sleep cycle, your body does not have the time it requires to reach the proper states to repair injuries or grow new muscle cells. Most tissue growth and repair occurs while you sleep. Adequate sleep will help ensure that those small tears in your muscles are repaired and ready again for action the next day.