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Why sleep is important when you’re trying to build muscle

Building muscle is not an easy task. You need to lift weights and eat properly but what is the one thing most people overlook? Find out more in this article.

Sleep

Whether or not your muscle will grow has a lot to do with the quality of sleep you get at night. According to Kasey Nicholas, NMD, a doctor of naturopathic medicine who specializes in sleep disorders, “Diet, exercise and sleep are the pillars of health and the key to building muscle.”

Why do you need to sleep?

After an intense session at the gym, your body desperately needs to recover and the only way to let it fully recover is by getting enough sleep. Also, it’s not just about sleeping, you should also pay attention to the quality sleep you have been getting as according to a study of over 10,000 people in the Journal of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions, good sleep quality is linked with greater muscle strength, while sleeping less than six hours a night may cause decreased muscle strength.

Sarah Ray, a National Strength and Conditioning Association-certified trainer and head of business at Volt Athletics added that “Each phase of our sleep cycle contributes to muscular repair and growth in different ways. This is why it is important to not just sleep enough but to sleep well.”

How much sleep do you actually need?

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, adults should get seven or more hours of sleep per night. Sleep is so crucial that Sujay Kansagra, doctor of neurology and sleep medicine suggests that if you have to choose between working out and sleep, make sure to always choose sleep as your body needs it to repair your cells, tissues and hormones. He adds, “If you don’t sleep, your workouts are likely to not be as effective anyway since you won’t perform as well”. Also, if you don’t get enough sleep, it will soon affect your motivation to exercise and eat healthily.

Tips to get better sleep at night

Daylight

Do you know that getting a lot of daylight helps you to get better sleep? Also, it’s best if you could work out during the day instead of in the evening because your body temperature will go up after your workout, making it harder for you to fall asleep.

No screen time before bedtime

Probably the reason you’re not getting the quality sleep you need. Screen, be it phone or television can seriously make us forget the time and before we know it, we are binge-watching our favourite drama till dawn.

Follow your schedule

Stick to one specific bedtime even on weekends. This way your body will be trained to feel sleepy when it’s bedtime and be wide awake when you need it to.

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