Importance of Rest and Recovery for Muscle Growth

Have you reached a plateau in your workouts? Have you stopped gaining muscle and all of a sudden your body isn’t responding? If so it very well could be that you haven’t been getting enough sleep.

Sleep isn’t just something that is needed by infants and party-going college students. People who do not don’t get enough sleep suffer the health consequences whether they are a weight trainer or not. People who lift on a consistent basis need quality sleep even more because of the beating they give their body’s day in and day out.

So if you’ve hit the wall and can’t seem to build anymore muscle the best workout just might be one that includes lying down….and no I’m not talking about THAT…so get your mind out of the gutter.

Without going into all of the scientific mumbo jumbo your body can seriously increase its ability to recover from workouts, repair muscle tissue, and increase growth hormone levels when you get a consistent night’s sleep. Also, forget about the theory that you can catch up on sleep by reliving your teen years and getting up at noon on Saturday. Trying to make up for a week’s worth of sleep deprivation in one day is 100% myth.

Groundbreaking research by sleep expert Dr. William Dement has studied the effects of lack of sleep for over 40 years at Stanford University and says that the body keeps sort of a running total of all the hours of sleep we miss out on and that trying to catch up one day a week makes no difference.

As you fall into the deepest part of sleep, called REM, your body releases more growth hormone helping all of your bodily systems to recover. For some reason it is a badge of honor to get as little as sleep as possible especially among men. But take a look around the office and the dudes who usually get 4-6 hours a sleep per night are the ones wearing dress pants with adjustable waist bands because their bellies are so big.

Lack of sleep  wreaks havoc on the immune system as well. Dr. Dement showed in a study that males who were poor sleepers were over 6 times more likely to have health problems than their sheep counting counterparts.  So if you’re having trouble getting buff then try sleeping 8-9 hours a night on a consistent basis.

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