Importance of sleep: Sleep plays a major role in a person’s health and is just as important as eating, drinking and breathing. Sleep is regulated by the sleep-wake balance and the biological clock.
Those whose sleep frequently interrupted may not be getting enough sleep in some stages of sleep.
A healthy nap helps children get enough rest; This makes them quieter and more stable at night.
What is Sleep?
Although a person spends about a third of his life asleep, most people know little about it.
There is a widespread belief that sleep is inactivity in the physical and mental body functions that a person needs to regenerate.
The scientifically proven reality is different, as during sleep, many complex activities occur at the level of the brain and body and not as some believe.
Some functions are more active during sleep, and some diseases occur only during sleep and disappear when the patient wakes up.
I consider this information and scientific facts recently in the age of time, as some medical references have not dealt with them yet.
What is The Stages Of Sleep?
There are five stages of sleep, and an understanding of these stages will allow you to understand how sleep disturbances affect your health and muscle recovery.
The first stage: This stage begins when a person feels sleepy late at night while watching television, reading a book, or other habits.
This stage is characterized by slowing down brain activity and relaxation of muscles, and it is very easy to wake up during this stage.
The second stage: During the second stage of sleep, the activity of the brain and muscles increases, and the movement of the eyes decreases.
This stage usually begins after 15-30 minutes of your sleep. At this stage, you can also be awake easily and you may be active.
Stages 3-4: During this time the activity of the brain and muscles decreases significantly, and these stages may start 45 minutes after the start of the first stage. It is difficult to wake up at this stage and if you wake up; you are usually angry.
The five-stage: When you dream, the dream is on this stage. During this stage, the brain is very active, yet it paralyzes the muscles of the body.
During this time, your heart rate increases, your blood pressure rises, and your breathing rate becomes faster. This phase usually begins 90 minutes after you sleep.
Muscle healing takes place in the second, third, and fourth stages, and is most pronounced in the fourth stage.
It characterized by low blood pressure and heart rate, low brain activity, and maximum oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, which help in growth and building muscles.
Stage 4 makes up approximately 50% of your average ‘sleep hours. While the fifth stage, the dream stage, does not exceed 5% of your average sleep hours.
The Relationship Between Sleep And Muscles!
Getting enough sleep is a recommended practice to speed up the recovery of your muscles after training.
This is because it affects the various vital processes in your body that are related to building muscle and protein during sleep, and this mainly represented in the following points :
Sleep and Cortisol production:
Cortisol is a steroid hormone.
It is produced by the adrenaline gland and has many functions in the body, but is often released in response to stress and tension.
Several studies show that the high level of cortisol is an anti-manufacture of muscle cells, as it contributes to increasing the provision of safety acids to the liver as a source of energy by stimulating protein catabolism in the body (i.e. muscle catabolism).
Thus, the word increased the person’s level of stress (including the intensity of training).
The production of cortisol increased, and we found its excretion to be at its lowest level after 3-5 hours of starting sleep.
So the more sleep-deprived you are, the more cortisol you have, the more slow muscle production you have
Sleep and Testosterone level:
In one study conducted on this topic, we found it that men who got less than 5 hours of sleep at night for a week had a lower level of testosterone than they got a full hour of sleep during the night.
Testosterone is a muscle builder hormone, and low levels of it in men are associated with general weakness and strength in the body, besides a decrease in the manufacture of muscle cells, and this is not good for those who aspire to gain muscle or gain Six-Pack, is it not! (Study).
Sleep and growth hormone:
The growth hormone, also known as HGH, is a complex compound produced by the pituitary gland.
It stimulates and stimulating growth and tissue restoration, its production increases according to exercise, and its secretion reaches its peak during sleep.
Some athletes resort to taking growth hormone supplements to maintain youth and strength, especially since its secretion naturally decreases in middle age.
However, many, even most sports and health institutions prohibit eating it and deny those who do so from participating in sports competitions. (Study)
To Read: Growth Hormone and Bodybuilding
Important Sleep Functions
Sleep serves many vital functions. For bodybuilders, the major functions are mental growth and alertness.
Sleep provides these effects directly. Without adequate sleep, you just wasting time in the gym in a large extent. Here are the important sleep functions.
It repairs muscles and other tissues, replacing aging or dead cells:
Sleeping for 8 to 10 hours a night is the same as fasting, and it undermines muscle growth.
However, eating right before bed can help reverse this process and increase protein synthesis.
Protein synthesis occurs in sleep conditions, but it occurs in the digestive system, not in the muscles.
Under these conditions, body breaks muscles to supply the stomach with amino acids during this period of starvation.
Eating before bed is crucial in making up for this.
Some reports suggest waking up in the middle of the night to eat (night eating).
They also secrete the human growth hormone under sleeping conditions.
In men, 60% to 70% of daily human growth hormone secretion occurs during early sleep, which usually occurs when the deepest sleep cycles occur.
Poor sleep can negatively affect human growth hormone levels.
Research shows that during REM sleep: After sleep, the body can restore organs, bones, and tissues.
Immune cell regeneration. And circulating human growth hormone.
Sleep has a profound effect on muscle growth and physical well-being.
The reducing of energy consumption during sleep :
Low energy consumption is a biological mechanism for saving resources.
We will need many meals a day (instead of the regular 4-6 meals for bodybuilders) if we don’t get enough sleep.
With bodybuilders, it increases the name of the game, so preserving energy outside of the gym is crucial.
Several meals throughout the day also aid in growth and sleep helps ensure that food is used to replace energy and rebuild muscle (pre-sleep meals and night eating help to intensify this effect).
Sleep to recharge the brain:
Adenosine (a neurotransmitter that produces ATP, the energy storage molecule that powers most biochemical reactions within cells) a signal to tell the brain that it needs rest.
High and low concentrations of adenosine show that the brain is resting during sleep, given that the secretion of adenosine reflects brain activity.
During sleep, levels of adenosine drop.
They have shown that blocking adenosine in the brain increase wakefulness, so this shows that during ‘SLEEP’ the brain is recharging.
During the day, high levels of adenosine, and especially show that the brain is tired.
Resting the brain has clear implications for bodybuilding given that mental alertness requires during the day, especially during training.
Motivation levels are highest when mental alertness is higher.
Studies show that during REM sleep helps the proper functioning of the brain and alertness.
Tips To Get An Adequate Sleep
Often it is difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Even when sleeping, the quality of sleep may not be enough.
The following methods can help you get a good night’s sleep and then benefit.
- Do not oversleep: Oversleeping may set the clock to a different cycle. This will make trying to sleep much more difficult.
- Take a warm bath: A warm bath will soothe and relax. However, avoid showering will have the opposite effect.
- Exercise: Aerobic exercise, especially aerobics, during the day will get tired enough for a day and you will fall asleep faster at night. Intensive training sessions late in the evening will have the opposite effect.
- Avoid consuming alcohol, caffeine, and foods rich in tyrosine at night: Caffeine causes hyperactivity and alertness. Foods rich in tyrosine stimulate the brain and may keep you awake. Alcohol disrupts sleep by interfering with the sleep stages.
- Avoid sleeping pills: These medications may work temporarily, but in the long run, they will cause disturbing sleep patterns.
- Correct sleep environment: Keep your room reasonably cool (around 60 degrees). Humidity can disturb sleep. Playing a fan or soothing background music may relax and encourage sleep.
- Don’t watch TV in bed: This may also increase alertness. The brain may also decide that bedtime is for watching TV and refuse to sleep.
Adequate Sleep Hours For A Normal Person
Increasing or decreasing the number of hours of sleep leads to disease, so it is important to know the number of sleep hours that a person needs at each stage of his life.
The US National Health Foundation issued a list of the number of sleep hours for each age group, based on the evaluation of the data of much scientific research in different fields, bearing in mind that this list is suitable for people who are healthy and do not suffer from sleep disorders.
Babies up to three months:
This stage is considering one of the most important stages in which we need long hours of sleep
The infant needs 14 to 17 hours of sleep.
The number of hours of sleep at this age should not exceed 18 hours and not be less than 11 hours, according to the list published in the specialized scientific journal “Sleep Journal” and reported by various media.
Babies before the first year:
As the infant gets older, his need for sleep decreases and ranges from 12 to 15 hours per day.
Children up to two years:
At this stage, the child’s curiosity to discover the world increases, and this coincides with the decline in his need for sleep.
A child in the age group between the first and second years needs to sleep for a period between 11 and 14 hours.
Experts believe, according to the German newspaper “Die Welt”, that the sleep of a child at this age for hours less than 10 hours is less than ideal.
The number of sleep hours at this age should not exceed 15 or 16 hours.
For Three to Five years:
10-13 hours of sleep is a good time for preschoolers.
The number of sleep hours at this age should not be less than 8 to 9 hours.
From six to thirteen years:
At this stage when the child begins his academic career, the need for sleep ranges between 9 and 11 hours per night.
Experts advise teenagers between 14 and 17 years of age to sleep for 8-10 hours.
The number of sleep hours at this age should not be less than seven hours.
In the age group between 18 and 25 years, a person needs to sleep for a period ranging between 7 and 9 hours.
Beginning at twenty-six, a person’s needs for sleep change. The ideal number of hours at this age remains between 7 and 9 hours. Some can suffice with six hours, while others need ten hours to achieve the required balance.
Beginning at sixty-five, the number of hours of sleep the body needs reduced. Most people at this age need about 7 to 8 hours of sleep, while some people only need five or six hours.
As research shows, sleep is important for any reason. For bodybuilders, sleep is especially important because it restores brain function and alertness to prepare for intense training sessions.
Sleep promotes muscle recovery through protein synthesis and secretion of the human growth hormone. Getting eight hours of quality sleep every night will boost these factors and overall well-being.
Recovery will take a step back if people don’t prioritize sleep, so sleep if you want to grow.