Sleep Benefits

sleep benefitsDo you feel tired during the day? Are you reaching for the coffee to keep you awake and focused? Are you getting sick often? Does it seem difficult to lose weight or get stronger even though you’re working out hard and following your nutrition plan?  I know many people struggle with these things, and I really think a big factor could be that they’re not getting enough sleep and aren’t experiencing any sleep benefits.

Isn’t sleep kind of weird when you think about it? Every single day your body has to stop moving and kind of shut down for a while. You can’t really avoid it or keep your body functioning without it for too long no matter how much caffeine you take in.  You just have to sleep, there’s no way around it.  While it may not be 100% clear what sleep actually does (especially in the brain) it is clear that there are some very important sleep benefits that you don’t want to miss out on.

Sleep Benefits When You’re Working Out

Again, maybe you’re working out hard and eating right and taking the right supplements, but you’re still struggling to see the results you want.  You could be missing out on some incredibly important sleep benefits!  Your muscles don’t actually grow while you’re working out.  When you’re lifting weights or doing other exercises, you’re actually tearing your muscles down.  What makes you stronger is when your muscles repair themselves after you workout, and especially when you’re sleeping!  One huge sleep benefit is the fact that when you’re sleeping, growth hormone is produced.  That along with protein synthesis is going to help you build muscle.  Now when you sleep, you are basically fasting for that time, unless you wake yourself up to eat, so having some protein right before bed is a good idea to make sure there are enough amino acids in your body to build and repair your muscle.

Other Sleep Benefits

Not only is your body producing growth hormone, which is good for building muscle, but there are a whole host of other sleep benefits that you can experience when you get enough of it:

  • Dead and aging cells are replaced
  • Your brain recharges
  • You can handle stress better
  • Your concentration and memory improve
  • You are less likely to get sick

As you can see, getting enough sleep has huge benefits!  Not only for rebuilding muscle, but also for your immune system and mental functioning.   These sleep benefits far outweigh the cost of not getting to watch that late night television show!

Maximizing Your Sleep Benefits

Ok, so you know about some important sleep benefits, but what’s the best way to maximize your sleep?  How much sleep do you really need?  From the studies that I’ve read, you need anywhere from 7-9 hours of sleep every night.  And believe me, this is something I need to work at too.  But if you want to realize these sleep benefits, that’s how much you need to get.  There are a couple of other factors that can help too, because you want those 7-9 hours to be good, uninterrupted hours.  I realize that may not be possible if you have infants or young children!  But to make sure those are a solid 7-9 hours, you want to try to get your body in a rhythm.  The best way to do this is to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.  That way your body gets into a routine and when that happens you can really get good, restful sleep.  Again, I know everyone’s schedule is different.  You might work odd hours or rotating shifts throughout the week/weekend so this might not be possible for you.  But as much as you can control it, you should try to get into a regular sleep schedule.  Those of you with sleep apnea can have an incredibly hard time getting a solid night’s rest too, because you’re not getting enough oxygen and often times the snoring wakes you up multiple times throughout the night.  Sleep apnea is actually very dangerous, so if you know you have symptoms or know someone else who does, you really should go see a medical professional about it!

Sleep Benefits Bottom Line

The bottom line about sleep benefits is that you just can’t replace a good night’s sleep.  There’s nothing else like it, and 3-5 hours a night isn’t going to cut it!  If you’re frustrated with your weight or fat loss results even if you’re doing all your workouts and following your nutrition plan, this could be the missing link!  If you’re not getting enough sleep you’re going to find it very difficult to see the results you want.  So as much as you can, start making sleep a priority, because when you experience these sleep benefits it makes you more productive and will help you feel better when you’re awake!

4 comments
JefeWarren
JefeWarren like.author.displayName 1 Like

GREAT article, sir!

Hope life is good.

Jeff

tmuellenberg
tmuellenberg moderator

@JefeWarren Thanks Jeff! Things are going well here, how have you been doing lately?

JefeWarren
JefeWarren like.author.displayName 1 Like

 @tmuellenberg  @JefeWarren Life is great - VERY busy!  In week 8 of p90x -- this round has been especially fun and wonderful as my wife is bringin it with me!!  (She's ridiculously healthy and wipes the floor with me during cardio!!)

tmuellenberg
tmuellenberg moderator

@JefeWarren that is awesome that you two are doing it together. Sounds like she will push you which is great :). Glad to hear things are going well amidst a busy schedule!

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  1. […] first is about sleep.  If you didn’t read it, I highly recommend you go check this out: Sleep Benefits.  How much sleep you get can really affect your results.  If you feel like you’re putting […]

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