So you finally decided to go back to the gym. You’re working hard and you’re exercising consistently. You’re watching your form, your reps are getting higher, and your weight is getting heavier. But, at the end of the day, your muscle gain is nonexistent. Have you ever considered that your unnatural sleep habits might be your only problem?
Let’s stop and think for second about how muscles are built. The three phases of muscle growth are exercise first, nutrition second, and recovery third. Let’s dig a little deeper into each of these topics.
First, there’s the exercising stage. You go to the gym and shred your muscles to the point of swelling and pain. What you’re really doing on the inside is creating tiny tears over and over again in all of your muscles that when healed by your body, grow together to be thicker and harder than before.
Next, you the nutrition stage. You go home after a workout and are sure to take your protein, your vitamins and nutrients, and your essential amino acids. These are desperately needed by your body after a workout to complete the process of healing your muscle tears.
Finally, there is the recovery stage. This is done mostly during your sleep. During this time your body is hard at work balancing out all of your crazy hormones and diligently taking all that protein and those vitamins and building up those worn-out muscles. Keep in mind that 99% of your recovery happens while your body is resting.
This being said, even if every other part of your workout routine is perfectly on point, you are consistent with your workouts, you apply the very latest and greatest routines, and you invest thousands of dollars on vitamins, proteins, and supplements, if you’re not supplying your body with the rest it needs you are making your workouts 100 times harder than they should be.
If you take a look around today it’s not hard to see that sleep deprivation is everywhere. Everyone has 168 hours in their week to use as they please. Although eight hours a day for appropriate sleep may seem like a lot, 56 hours a week out of your 168 that you have to spend is only a small fraction of the time in your week. You can choose to shortchange yourself out of sleep and spend that much more time in the gym, or you can stop shortchanging your sleep and give your muscles what they need to grow faster by making sure you have a full eight hours of sleep every night. Keep in mind you’re sleeping pattern is a lifestyle choice and lifestyle choices are able to be changed and manipulated by those who have adopted them.
Let’s take a second to get into the reasons for you shortchanging yourself out of sleep. It’s possible your Internet and social media gallivanting would be high atop that list. Perhaps not far behind would be video games or television for most people. Don’t get us wrong, we’re all humans and humans need some time for relaxing and unwinding. Unfortunately, too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing fairly quickly. If you look at your daily schedule and find that more than one hour a day is being spent on either social media, video games, or television, you might find that cutting that time back to just one hour a day would free up a few extra hours that you could use for proper sleep instead.
At this point, you may not agree with the thoughts above on this topic but give it a shot and do some research for yourself. If you don’t believe that eight hours of sleep is necessary for your body, especially when working out consistently, you’re being naive and losing the benefits of working out.