In order to grow, muscles need to rest and repair themselves. They cannot do that if you’re working out every day, neglecting your nutrition, following bad habits, and forgetting about sleep. Most weight lifters are serious about their workouts and their diets, and you need to be just as focused on your sleep patterns. Healthy bodies require healthy sleep. It’s especially important when you’re trying to get bigger, stronger, and more powerful. Periods of rest allow your muscle tissues to repair themselves. It also resets your brain and prepares you for the next big workout.
When you’re working on building a bigger body, focus on these sleep tips.
Sleep Eight Hours
It might seem impossible to sleep for eight hours a night, especially if you’re busy. However, sleeping for eight hours will allow you to conserve energy, which helps you with your workouts. If you don’t get enough sleep, you are wasting a lot of the time you spend working out and lifting weights. When you’re training, you need as much energy as possible. Waking up tired or feeling exhausted is not going to help your workouts. It’s not going to help any part of your day.
Everyone has specific and individual sleep needs. If eight hours is outside of what feels right and natural to you, find out where you’re comfortable. Maybe six or seven hours of solid, high-quality sleep leaves you feeling well-rested and ready to tackle your workout. Whatever your sleep needs, make sure you aren’t depriving yourself of sleep. Introduce new sleep habits into your routine if you aren’t feeling awake during the day or able to get through a workout.
Avoid Alcohol and Unnecessary Drugs
If you’re training, you are probably working hard to avoid alcohol. Make sure you stay away from it while you’re working on building a better sleep schedule. You don’t want to use sleeping pills or unnecessary drugs, either. Prescription sleep medication is incredibly strong and can become habit-forming. Over the counter sleep aids may work temporarily, but over the course of weeks or months, your body will build a tolerance and they will no longer be effective.
Set Yourself Up for Rest
A few simple rituals before bedtime will help you ease into a healthy, productive sleep. Try a warm bath or a hot shower before you go to sleep. Make sure your bedroom is dark and cool. Avoid watching television or scrolling through your phone while you’re in bed. You want to reduce the work your mind is doing, and your attention should be on rest and relaxation, not over-stimulation.
Consider having a light snack before bed. This might seem counter-intuitive, especially if you’re eating four to six meals per day as a bodybuilder. However, a snack will give your body the energy it needs to repair muscle tissues and rebuild cells while you sleep. It will also keep you from waking up in the middle of the night because you’re hungry. It will keep your blood sugar stabilized. There’s no need to eat a huge meal. But, some oatmeal or yogurt with fruit is a good way to feel full satisfied but not full before you sleep.
Levels of the human growth hormone are the highest in your blood stream about two hours after you fall asleep. That’s a good reason to get to bed and let your body do your work. Part of bodybuilding is resting your body and allowing your muscles to repair themselves and recharge. If you’re not getting enough sleep, make this a priority. It’s just as important to your bodybuilding plans as good nutrition.