Getting enough sleep is important, no matter what your age. Not only does it help you to function on a day-to-day basis, but it can also help you to grow muscle and reduce fat. Many people don’t get enough sleep because they’re too busy with work or school, or they have trouble falling asleep at night.
This can lead to decreased productivity and sports performance. Here are some tips on how to get the quality of sleep you need so that your muscles can grow and recover.
Sleep Helps You Grow Muscles
You may think that just because you get more rest, you’re not going to get any stronger. The exact opposite is true. When you get adequate sleep, you’ll be able to recover from workouts much faster and be more powerful when you go to the gym the next day.
Studies have shown that getting enough sleep allows you to recover twice as fast as you do when you’re sleeping less than eight hours a night. Sleep Has a Major Impact on Fat Loss As you start to grow stronger, you’ll notice that your body is trying to use up more calories to grow.
If you don’t burn these calories, you can end up storing some of them as body fat. If you want to get fit and stay fit, you’ll need to be extra mindful of how much food you’re eating and how much sleep you’re getting.
Lack of Sleep Can Lead to Muscle Loss
Although a lack of sleep can be a good thing for you in moderation, if you’re not getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep, you’re actually at risk of losing muscle mass. If you’re sleeping less than that, you’re going to enter into your most active hours at night.
This means that you’ll have less time to workout during the day. The longer you go without sleep, the more chances that your muscles will go to waste and lose muscle mass. Start by limiting your hours of sleep to eight hours a night, and then work your way down to five or four hours if you can.
Although it may seem that the human body has no need for sleep, recent studies show that your body needs between eight and nine hours of sleep each night for maximum muscle growth.
Lack of Sleep Will Affect Your Health
If you consistently go to bed late and then have difficulty falling asleep, you’re at higher risk for a heart attack. The cardiovascular health problems caused by lack of sleep can also lead to an increased risk of sudden cardiac death, according to research in the Journal of American College Health.
These are just a couple of reasons why you want to start getting a good night’s sleep as soon as possible. Waking Up Feeling Unrefreshed Is Not a Good Start When you are tired and feel sluggish in the morning, it can prevent you from getting up and making it to work on time.
Some people may not even have time to eat a full breakfast before starting their day. This could affect your productivity, or it could lead to you missing breakfast altogether.
How To Get Enough Quality Sleep
First and foremost, get enough sleep. You should go to bed between 9 and 10 PM and get at least eight hours of sleep per night. If you do fall asleep later than that, try to get back to your regular schedule. Also, if you take stimulants or sleep aids, or have sleep disorders, they’ll only make it harder for you to get a good night’s rest.
A good bedtime routine is key for good sleep. Experts have many ways of ensuring quality sleep. If you have a hard time falling asleep at night, try to go to bed at the same time every night, and avoid excessive light exposure (read more about this in our post on How to Sleep Better).
Set a proper bedtime. Some people have trouble winding down at night, and might spend too long in the bathroom, shower, or doing other activities.
Tips on Getting More Quality Sleep
Limit the Use of Devices Right before Bed Yes, this might be your kids’ fault. The average American spends a whopping five hours a day on their devices. That’s a huge time suck! Here’s what you can do to minimize that time:
Don’t check your email or respond to texts right before bedtime. That will keep your brain working, and you might not be able to fall asleep for a few hours after you do. Put your phone on airplane mode. Use the Fitbit Alta HR:
This fitness tracker will track your sleep quality automatically and allow you to sleep better by nudging you to get more rest during the night. Use the Halo Sleepsuit: This sleeping bag acts as a cocoon to keep you cozy. Just keep your head on the pillow, and it will be really easy to get to sleep.
Make your bedroom the right environment for sleep
Before bed, move your body a few times to get blood flowing to your muscles and joints. If possible, get into a comfortable position and find a comfortable spot where you can feel cozy and relaxed. Clear away any light sources in your room that could keep you awake.
If you’re traveling, go to a dark room. Keep your bedroom cooler than the average room by opening your windows to allow cooler air to circulate. Don’t exercise in your room, since you might end up stimulating your mind even more.
Don’t use your phone in bed Having your phone nearby is just asking for trouble. Using your phone while you’re trying to fall asleep increases your focus on a specific task and sends more signals to your brain that you’re awake.
Practice good sleep habits
Make a habit of going to bed and waking up at the same time. Avoid eating the right foods just before bedtime. These foods, such as cheese, nuts, and wine, can interfere with sleep quality. Check the time, and don’t make your sleep worse by staying up too late. Keep devices that emit blue light from your bedroom, like phones, tablets, and laptops.
Get adequate sleep Researchers have found that people who regularly sleep for seven or eight hours a night are less likely to gain weight than people who sleep for six hours or less. But that doesn’t mean you should go to bed at 8 o’clock.
The best time to go to bed is about two hours before you want to wake up. Make sure to give yourself enough time to fall asleep.