If you want to build and tone your muscles, there are no supplements, diets or training routines to compensate for insufficient rest. It's vital that you treat your sleeping time respectfully. Up to 70% of the daily human growth hormone release happens during sleep for men. But poor quality sleep can have a negative impact on growth hormone levels. Studies suggest that during REM your body is able to repair damaged tissue, bones, organs, help replenish immune cells and circulate the growth hormone.
Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep is the 5th stage of our sleep cycle. It's the stage in which most dreaming occurs, and it is the sleeping stage when most notable physical changes occur as well. Your heart raises, your breathing becomes irregular, more rapid and shallow. And your eyes start moving, hence the name REM. Your body releases glycine in the brain, which is an amino acid that causes atonia.
Atonia is a sort of temporary paralysis caused by the loss of normal muscular tension in limbs, in both arm and leg muscles. Science suggests that this happens because your body adapts in order to prevent you from physically replicating the movements from your vivid dreams.
There would be a lot to say about REM, but the most important thing is that your body has a particular need for it. The REM stage begins 70 to 90 minutes into your first sleep cycle, and if suppressed with alcohol or antidepressants, your next sleep cycle will do extra REM time to make up for the previous deficit. Additionally, deprivation of REM sleep usually causes anxiety and irritability.
Studies suggest that REM sleep assists the proper functioning of the brain and alertness. This is because during sleep, adenosine levels decline. Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that produces ATP, the energy-storage molecule. Stopping adenosine in the brain helps increase alertness, thus it helps the brain recharge during sleep. Heightened levels of adenosine during the day or especially towards the end of the day suggest that your brain is getting tired.
So, you need to sleep well in order to perform well at the gym. The more alert you are during the day, the greater your motivation to reach your goals is. Anabolic growth and bodily repair happen during your sleep as well, so enhancing your quality of sleep is key. Here are 3 tips to help you improve the quality of your sleep:
1. Reduce Noise Pollution
Please keep quiet while your muscles are rebuilding! Noise pollution has been shown to have a deep impact on sleep. Significant noise will raise your adrenaline levels, which is detrimental to recuperative sleep. Additionally, exposure to loud noise pollution during the day will interfere with having a good night sleep. Remember that your sleep must by uninterrupted for complete muscle recovery, so make sure your sleeping environment is quiet and will allow you to rest properly.
2. Watch What You Eat
What you eat and drink during the day has a significant influence on your sleep. Make sure you balance your macronutrient intake with a precise ratio of micronutrients, because improper mineral absorption and vitamin deficiencies will cause loss of sleep or very poor quality of sleep. Tyrosine rich foods before sleep, alcohol and caffeine are known to interfere with your sleep, so avoid these before you hit the bed. Instead, if you feel hungry before bed, go for sleep inducing, nutritive, tryptophan rich foods such as bananas, dates, figs, oatmeal, yogurt, turkey, tuna and grapefruit.
3. Reset Your Sleep Cycle
Your inner clock, called the circadian clock, helps you fall asleep and wake up next morning. Your own inner clock is special to you and ticks in your own rhythm. Whenever you work a late night shift, travel between time zones or simply stay up late, you fall off track. Working out during the day will help you adjust your inner clock, but the most important thing is to set a going to sleep - waking up schedule and stick to it. This will help you establish a healthy sleeping patter and reset your sleep cycle.
Sleep is a time of conservation. Your energy consumption is lowered, so your body can focus on restoration and preserving your resources. Getting enough sleep will ensure overall better health, mood and a better athletic performance. For those who focus on hypertrophy especially, sleep is especially important, since energy conservation outside workout session is paramount.
If you're aiming for muscle growth, getting a pre-sleep snack and enough sleep should help you reach your goals. Quality sleep enhances muscular recovery through protein synthesis, growth hormone release, restores brain function and alertness. Get enough rest and sleep to improve your health and your performance at the gym. You will see improvements and muscle gains in no time!