Sleep is one of the most basic, vital functions of the mind and body. It is a necessary part of life, and its irregularity or lack of quality can have drastic impacts on almost all areas of function. Without adequate and regular sleep, the body’s functions begin to deteriorate—everything from slowed concentration and mental focus to the breakdown of other vital life functions, including muscle sustenance and growth.
You may think sleep is unrelated to the growth of muscle, or that maybe it indirectly relates; however, studies show that sleep directly impacts the growth of muscles through various ways. Through the effective release of specific hormones during sleep, your body can repair and sustain muscle growth and maintenance. Since muscles are literally what allows your body to move and function, sleep remains one of the most foundational processes, and is the key to gaining muscle. For this reason, we created a sleep aid product to help ensure you that you sleep and recover well. Read about SLEEP/GH here!
Over the years, scientists have found that during sleep, specific hormones are released as neurotransmitters, or chemicals that allow the body to perform necessary functions. One of those hormones, the Human Growth Hormone (known as HGH) has a lot to do with how you build muscle.
Contrary to popular belief, your muscles don’t actually grow when you’re at the gym. Essentially, what you’re doing when you lift weights is you’re creating microscopic tears in the muscle so that later, during rest and sleep, your body will repair those muscles to be stronger. This period is known as recovery, and allows your muscles to grow with the healthy repetition of working out. During recovery periods of sleep, HGH is released, which is the kick-off for recovery to occur. Though HGH has many other functions, it is the hormone which sets your body up to make the necessary repairs to muscle.
That’s right—even your brain needs its rest in order to reset and prepare to help you function for another day. During sleep, circadian rhythms operate on a biological clock that sends our brains through 90-minute cycles that selectively release the correct hormones at the right times so that our bodies can complete all needed processes. Without proper amounts of quality sleep, the brain’s regulated release of hormones gets cut short and normal processes begin to slow down, including the process of muscle recovery and growth.
Easily the most complex organ in the body, the brain needs its rest so that it can carry you through another day of work and physical exertion. You can feel the effects of a sleepless night—you know the signs: lack of energy, grogginess, inability to concentrate or focus. But with a good night’s sleep, your body will be ready for not only a day of thinking clearly, but also for a rigorous workout.
Tips on Better Sleep
In order to get deep, restful sleep, there are a few conditions to set up so that the 90-minute cycles during sleep don’t get interrupted. First, try to get enough sleep. Though there are many opinions on how many hours of sleep are adequate for prime function, getting at least a solid 6 hours of sleep every night is a must. Second, try to ensure your sleep won’t be interrupted. This may be difficult for new parents or those with active pets around the house, but turning down your text message notification tone is an easy way to ensure you don’t get woken up unnecessarily. Finally, try to provide a dark room for sleeping. Because the body operates according to levels of light, the brain needs a dark environment to get adequate sleep.
Everyone is different—there are light sleepers and heavy sleepers and those who can sleep pretty much anywhere. But setting up these conditions for adequate sleep is a great way to ensure your sleep will allow all the normal processes to happen to repair muscle and generate muscle growth, and also to allow optimal performance the following day.