The Importance of Sleep
The purpose of exercise is to change your body in a positive manner; we overload your muscles so that they are stimulated to change by growing stronger. However, increases in muscle size, muscle strength, and stamina do not happen while you are working out. Those changes occur when you sleep! We’ve talked before about the effect that rest has on your muscles.
Strength training damages your muscles. This is good, because it sends a signal to your brain that something has to change (You either have to stop doing damage to your muscles or your muscles need to get stronger). When you sleep, your body releases growth hormone to help repair the micro trauma in your muscles, and it uses the protein you have eaten to make the muscles bigger and stronger. If you don’t get enough sleep, the repairs don’t happen or aren’t completed.
In order to get the most out of your workouts, it’s very important to get 8 uninterrupted hours of sleep each night!
1. Establish a regular sleeping schedule. Our bodies crave consistency. By waking up and going to bed at the same time each day, we train our bodies to rest at the appropriate times.
2. Avoid caffeine after 3 PM. The effects of caffeine last longer than the initial jolt you get when you drink it, and it can disrupt your schedule if you take it too late in the day.
3. Don’t exercise or engage in stressful activities approximately 3 hours before going to bed. You need to gradually shift into a restful state so that you can get a good night’s rest.
4. Sleep in a cool, dark, calming room. Bright lights before bed can actually trick your brain into thinking that it’s daytime.