Muscle repair and growth happens during sleep, this allows for both hypertrophy and overall improved athletic performance. The exercise-sleep connection is the relationship between sleep quality and exercise performance and recovery. It works in 2 ways, whilst it helps training and muscle growth improve, strength and hypertrophy training can also help you get a better nights rest.
Sleep is essential for cellular, organic and systemic functions of an organism (you), with its absence being potential harmful to health, changing feeding behaviour, glucose regulation, blood pressure, cognitive processes and some hormonal axes. Among the hormonal changes there is an increase in cortisol secretion, and a reduction in testosterone and insulin like growth factor 1, preventing a proteolytic environment from being established.
Sleep debt decreases the activity of protein synthesis pathways and increases the activity of degradation pathways, favouring the loss of muscle and thus hindering muscle recovery after damage induced by exercise, injuries and certain conditions associated with muscle atrophy, such as sarcopenia and cachexia (Dattilo et al. 2011).
The best way to grow is to make sure your getting the best out of yourself is, in conjunction with a good diet and proper training, making sure your sleep is of a high level of quality, enough to elicit proper recovery. This can be achieved by decreasing cortisol production late into the evening (training earlier in the day), limiting caffeine intake in the later half of the day (up to 4-6hrs prior to bed), reducing brain stimulating activities before bed (being on your phone) and amplifying a healthy sleep cycle through supplementation for stress reduction and healthy sleep hormone production (Melatonin, GABA). (Full list of supplementation options below)
According to the national sleep foundation, Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is believed to benefit learning, memory and mood, also thought to contribute to brain development in infants, its characterised by heightened brain function to an almost conscious level, as well as vivid dreams. REM sleep accounts for 20-25% of the sleep cycle and occurs within the first 90 mins of falling asleep, this can occur several times throughout the night.
Lack of REM sleep may have adverse implications for physical and emotional health. During REM sleep, the muscles relax, which can help relieve tension, repair muscle tissue and reduce symptoms of certain types of chronic pain. In fact, many of the critical restorative functions in the body, like tissue repair and muscle growth occur only or mostly during sleep. If you do not regularly experience vivid dreams or you find your experiencing adverse effects associated with lack of REM sleep supplementation is a viable option for increasing healthy sleep cycles and reducing stress, thus promoting the bodies ability to enter the REM stage (Relora, L-theanine, Delta zone, Adrenal switch).
Another benefit to sleep is the production of muscle growth inducing hormones, which your body produces on its own while you sleep, (human growth hormone) (HGH). During the N3 stage of NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep, blood flow to your muscles increases, and tissue growth and repair occurs. A consistent sleep schedule of seven to nine hours a night (possibly more if you are a competitive athlete) will help the muscle-healing process.
In addition to muscle strength, muscle coordination improves with sufficient sleep. Basketball players who added two hours of sleep to their nightly routine experienced a five percent increase in reaction time and speed on the court. Sleep is vital for cementing muscle recall linked to body movements. Together with the muscle repair and growth that happens during sleep, this allows for overall improved athletic performance.
Individuals who strength train may fall asleep faster, have better quality sleep, and wake up less frequently throughout the night. Don’t like to lift? Try running, yoga, or aerobics instead. Any type of exercise is beneficial when it comes to sleeping more soundly although some exercises, like competitive sports, should be avoided within two hours of sleep.
Beneficial supplementation options for sleep include
- Now foods - Relora
- Now foods - L-theanine
- Now foods - Melatonin
- Now foods - Gaba
- 13 lives - Siesta
- Switch Nutrition - Adrenal Switch
- Bsc - Hydroxy Burn Sleep Rx
- Bpm - Delta Zone
- Axe labs – Sleep
- Force Element – Night Ops
- EHP Labs – Oxysleep
- NYX – Sleep formula
- MRM Nutrition – Relax all