Sleep more to reach your fitness dreams

With the festive party season over it’s time to put your focus on getting adequate sleep, in order to reach your ultimate fitness dreams.

Adequate sleep will help you reach your fitness goals
Adequate sleep will help you reach your fitness goals.

Over the festive season, our bodies suffer due to celebrations and excessive food and alcohol consumption, leading to poor sleeping patterns. However, if your goal is to get back your pre-Christmas fitness in the new year, sleep plays a vital role in the recovery of muscles. Even the best training routine, diet and supplement program will not compensate for insufficient rest. Without sleep your body just fails to adapt.

So what is it about sleep that makes it so important for achieving your fitness dreams.

What happens during sleep that helps to build and regenerate muscle?

During phases of deep sleep (non-REM sleep), the body enters a physically restorative phase. The brain is resting and therefore the amount of blood supply available to muscles increases, delivering extra amounts of oxygen and facilitating muscular healing and growth. Muscles and tissues are rejuvenated and new cells are regenerated.

Also occurring during the deep sleep phase, growth hormone is released from the pituitary gland. This hormone stimulates tissue growth and muscle repair and inadequate sleep prevents this vital muscular process from occurring.

Signs you aren’t getting enough sleep for adequate muscle recovery:

  • Poor energy levels
  • Fatigue
  • Persistent muscle and joint soreness
  • Insomnia
  • Regression in training
  • Low mood

Getting around 8 hours quality sleep every night will help to support your exercise routine, allowing desired muscle tone and recovery and improved overall general health.

Stephanie King

Stephanie is a qualified Exercise and Sport Scientist who lives and breathes all things health and fitness. An Eastern Suburbs local, Stephanie spends her weekends being active outdoors, sipping on an espresso and hunting down the best smashed avo toast in Bondi. She has travelled to 5 out of 7 continents, jumped off one skyscraper and out of one plane to date.

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