Are You Getting Enough Sleep? (...Probably Not)
It's Snooze or Lose! Not Snooze and Lose. Welcome to the sleepless 21st century. Somewhere in your busy schedule you make time to get to the gym, eat healthy and buy/take your supplements. However as the old saying goes "a chain is only strong as it weakest link" applies to your weight loss and bodybuilding efforts as well. Learn how a good nights sleep can be your best bodybuilding/weight loss supplement. Do not let your training program fail because you don’t get adequate sleep. What is adequate sleep? This will vary by individual, but most likely you will need at least 7-8 hours of REM sleep to be fully rested. If you are waking up with the help of an alarm (even worse, hitting the snooze button a dozen times), you might not be getting enough sleep. There are many general health benefits that can be obtained from simply getting a good night's sleep. A huge one is better cardiovascular health - sleep deprivation has been linked to a hardening of the arteries. The importance of sleep is much higher for the person trying to gain muscle mass. Your body needs this rest to repair, rebuild and recover the muscle that your workouts have broken down. Sleep plays a vital role in protein synthesis and the release of growth hormone. Insufficient sleep affects growth hormone secretion that is linked to obesity; as the amount of hormone secretion decreases, the chance for weight gain increases. Remember that sleep is your number one bodybuilding supplement....and it's free! Do not drink anything right before bedtime. You do not want to consume water so you are not up all night running to the bathroom. You also do not want to consume any caffeine as it will be even harder to fall asleep. Caffeine shouldn’t be consumed at all within 5 hours of bedtime. Sleep has been proven time and time again to be very important in many aspects of your life. Lack of it can be very hard to make up for later. Sleep is just as important as diet and exercise, but studies have shown that most people have sleep as a much lower priority. Really try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night. It will lead to a much better day as you are fully recovered and can better concentrate. Life itself overall benefits greatly on proper sleeping habits. And by all means, sleep on a proper pillow. No ordinary, store bought pillows! These pillows will not keep you in correct sleeping posture and can cause pressure and pain, which keep you tossing and turning, preventing you from long bouts of deep sleep. Just as with sleep, most people greatly underestimate the importance of using a pillow that will keep you in correct sleeping posture. Don't be fooled by the false advertising or marketing hype that you see. Sleep in correct posture and see what a difference a night can make!