Your workouts are progressing nicely, you’re doing everything right in the gym and exercising with proper form using higher reps and heavier weights regularly, but still your muscle growth is slow and painful, at best. Is a lack of sufficient sleep your problem, or at least a big part of it?
The Process Of Building Muscles
Think about the process of building muscles – exercise, nutrition and recovery. You tear down the muscles in the gym, creating the micro-tears that force the body to rebuild bigger and stronger. You fuel your body with the proteins, essential amino acids, vitamins and micro-nutrients it needs for the anabolic process of building muscles. And when you sleep, your body balances your hormones and uses that nutrition to heal and build muscles – your muscle building is almost completely accomplished while you sleep.
So even if all goes well in the gym – you’re using scientific principles and the latest research to craft your exercise routine, never miss a workout and spend a small fortune on protein and supplements – if you don’t get enough rest & recuperation you won’t be getting the full benefits of your training regime. Yet getting enough sleep is completely within your own power…
Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation runs rampant in today’s society, so you may think you just don’t have enough time to get 8 hours of sleep a night. But the truth is you have the same 168 hours a week that everyone else has, and 8 hours of sleep a night only uses up 56 of those hours. So that lack of sleep that’s preventing you from building muscles faster is actually a lifestyle choice, not a fact carved in stone. And like any lifestyle choice, you have the power to change it right away.
What stops you from getting enough sleep? For most, television, computer games and/or Internet social media sites burn up hours uselessly and keep them up later than is prudent. Each is fine in moderation, but study after study show people are spending HOURS a day at these pursuits. If you’re watching TV for 2 or 3 hours a day and not getting 8 hours of sleep, the answer is pretty obvious, isn’t it?
Your Simple Solution
If you believe you can’t get 8 hours of sleep a night, or that it’s not important to get enough sleep, you’re kidding yourself. Your entire day and your health is massively impacted by your sleeping habits. And, of course, that includes your efforts to build muscles – both the energy and endurance you need for your workouts and your muscle-building process are dependent on your body setting enough sleep. The problem until now is that you’re doing everything you want to do without limitation and then setting your sleep time by what’s left over – by default as it were.
Instead, set your bedtime based on when you have to get up. If you have to get up by 7am for work tomorrow, be in bed and ready to sleep by 11pm tonight. If you’re planning to sleep in until 10am tomorrow, start drifting off to sleep by 2am. It’s a simple solution that helps you get enough sleep to benefit your whole life and help you build muscles more quickly – and you’ll find your stress levels drop and your general mood improves as well.
Just remember no one else can make these changes for you – like everything that’s important in life, YOU have to make the decision and put in the effort to improve your life and live a fit & healthy lifestyle!
D. Champigny a well known in the fitness world – he’s a published fitness photographer, certified personal trainer, fitness author
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