Discover The Amazing Way Sleep Benefits Your Workouts and Health

Discover The Amazing Way Sleep Benefits Your Workouts and Health

The three pillars of good health are nutrition, exercise - and you guessed it, sleep (Harvard University).

Now, medical science has uncovered an even closer relationship between exercise and sleep than we ever imagined.

Even if you’re not a competitive athlete, but want to build muscle and reduce fat, getting enough sleep can help you achieve your get-in-shape or stay-in-shape goals. 

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Recent studies have shown that Human Growth Hormone (HGH) does its magic while we sleep, mostly during Stage 3 sleep, also known as “slow wave sleep” or “deep sleep”. HGH is a hormone that your body produces that helps to build new muscle, repair your muscles, and increase blood flow. During deep sleep is when most of the restorative properties of sleep occur. And later, during REM sleep, your muscles relax, which helps to minimize the effects of daily stress and chronic pain. 

If you’re weight training, or exercising regularly, getting enough sleep is vital to getting maximum physical and mental benefit from your workouts. Most sleep doctors recommend seven to nine hours of sleep per night - more if you’re a competitive athlete. 

According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), getting enough sleep also improves muscle coordination. In a study, competitive basketball players who added two extra hours of zzz’s each night to their daily routine, experienced a five percent increase in their reaction times. As the NSF notes: “Sleep is vital for cementing muscle recall linked to body movements. Along with the muscle repair and growth that happens during sleep, this allows for overall improved athletic performance.”

Basketball  players who get more sleep perform better.

In addition, a recent article in BOXROX, a popular competitive fitness magazine, notes that the changes that HGH brings about in the actual fibers of your body during sleep can reduce the tired feeling in your body after workouts and can help boost your immune system.

If you think about it, the human body’s cycle of exertion, followed by neural recovery during sleep, is really an amazing process - especially because it works the other way around, too. That is, people who exercise during the day actually fall asleep faster and get a better night’s sleep than non-exercisers, which puts the whole restorative cycle into motion again.

As English author Thomas Dekker so aptly wrote way back in the 1600s,: “Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.”  It was true then and it is true today.

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