How Our Muscles Recover During Sleep!
I hope August is treating you well! Today's post is written by a guest from Tuck.com! I'm very happy to bring you the following information on the huge importance of adequate sleep as it pertains to muscle recovery!
This is an often overlooked area, but it is vital that we make quality sleep a priority in our lives! I hope this information encourages you to do so!
How Our Muscles Recover During Sleep
Athletes need adequate sleep to function at optimal performance. Good sleep is essential for building muscle in post-exercise recovery. It offers support for building strength, endurance, and muscle, and without it, you could suffer from longer recovery times and weakened performance, even injury.
What Sleep Does for Your Muscles
Your body experiences higher levels of cell division and regeneration during non-REM sleep, which is critical for muscle recovery. In light sleep, you can synthesize new information, and during deep sleep, your body regulates the stress hormone cortisol. These are essential to retaining what you've learned in training and properly regulating your body's ability to digest glucose.
During deep sleep, growth hormones are released. Human growth hormone supports muscle recovery and tissue repair and is critical for sustained performance.
Research indicates that athletes with sufficient or increased sleep have better performance. With rest, you can react more quickly and perform faster and more accurately.
How Sleep Deprivation Affects Fitness
Every night, your body restores itself while you sleep. When you're short on sleep, your recovery and performance suffers because you haven't given your body the time it needs to rebuild.
With sleep deprivation, recovery time is longer and your mental focus, mood, and stress levels suffer. Your production of glycogen and carbohydrates (important sources of energy for sustained athletic activity) suffers as well.
When you're sleep deprived, you're at a greater risk of injury. This is due to the reduction in reaction time and degradation of athletic performance you're likely to experience when you don't get enough sleep.
How Much Sleep Do You Need?
The average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep each night. When you're training, you should aim for 10 hours of sleep. If you're not able to get 10 hours of sleep at night, you may supplement with naps. However, long blocks of deep sleep are best for muscle recovery and performance.
Whether you're getting 10 hours of sleep or not, you should make sure that every hour of sleep you have available is excellent, restorative rest. Focus on making your bedroom ideal for rest with the right mattress for your needs, comfortable bedding, and a cool, dark, quiet, and calm environment. Practice good sleep hygiene, maintaining a regular sleeping schedule and a dependable pre-bedtime routine each night that will help you settle in to rest. And if you're suffering from any sleep disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnea that interfere with your ability to sleep well at night, talk to your doctor about how you can address them and get the restorative, muscle-building sleep you need to optimize your performance.
Sara Westgreen is a researcher for the sleep science hub Tuck.com. She sleeps on a king size bed in Texas, where she defends her territory against cats all night. A mother of three, she enjoys beer, board games, and getting as much sleep as she can get her hands on.