All your life, you have probably heard your parents, aunts, uncles, teachers, and coaches tell you to get a good night’s sleep. You have probably even heard eight hours of sleep a night is essential for the average adult. Regardless of what you have heard, there is simply no denying that sleep is an essential part of your athletic performance. It might even be more important than you initially imagined. Of course, your diet combined with your training schedule can factor in, but if you aren’t getting that required sleep, you aren’t going to be able to perform at your best.
After a hard workout, you experience some mild to moderate soreness the next day. This soreness probably even prevents you from going full strength the next day in the gym or on the field. There is nothing wrong with this. It is natural; this is actually how your muscles grow and adapt. The only problem is that those muscles can’t repair and grow if you aren’t providing them with adequate rest.
The National Sleep Foundation states that REM sleep is particularly important when trying to provide energy to the brain and body as well as tissue growth and muscle repair. The shocking part is that all of this takes place when you are asleep. Sleep is crucial for proper muscle recovery. While you are sleeping, there is a lot taking place, including the repairing, recharging, and regrowing of your body. That has to do with the fact that your body is mostly stationary during sleep. Periods of rest and sleep are the best time for your body to replenish itself with nutrients.00
Muscle Mass Loss
It doesn’t matter how much you eat or how many weight you lift; you are always going to lose muscle mass during recovery. The goal of any workout routine is to gain lean muscle while shedding fat. Of course, this is going to be much harder said than done when you are losing lean muscle mass during the recovery process. That will be even more so true if you are sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation will not only affect your weightlifting ability, but it can decrease your muscle strength and power.
Some of the latest findings show that sleep deprivation can even potentially increase the risk of injury. Getting the right amounts of sleep will not only keep you injury-free, but it could help your overall lean muscle mass gains.
Emotional And Social Changes
There is no denying, some days you don’t feel like working out. Some people can push themselves to get up and suffer the rat race, while others can’t muster up the strength. Some people might think that this has something to do with determination and dedication. That might be right to a certain point, but it could potentially be linked to the lack of sleep. When you don’t get the required amount of sleep, it is not only going to affect you on an emotional level, but it is going to affect how you interact socially with others. If you aren’t feeling your best, you aren’t going to be able to perform at your best.
How Much Sleep Is Needed?
Ultimately, you need to make sure that you get a sufficient amount of sleep. If you do not, it is going to take a toll on your physically. When you’re tired, you’re not going to be able to perform at the maximum level. So, how much sleep do you need? Sadly, there is no universal answer here. There are too many variables to consider. For instance, you may need more sleep than someone else due to your metabolism. Someone else may need less sleep. Still, there are some averages that you can depend on.
Generally, you should try to get at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night. That should be enough to energize your body and hit the gym running again. If you’ve worked out several hours that day, you may need more sleep that night.
Avoid Caffeine And Alcohol
As you should know, some substances can negatively impact your sleep. If you’re going to be working out the following day, you need to get plenty of sleep. Therefore, you should avoid substances that are going to hinder your ability to sleep. For starters, you’ll want to stay away from alcohol. You’ll also want to moderate your caffeine consumption. If you’re going to consume caffeine, you should do so at least 6 hours before bedtime. If you’re going to be safe, you should avoid both substances.
Make Your Room Comfortable
It is also pertinent to make your room as comfortable as possible. If you do not, you’re going to wake up in the middle of the night to fix something. You need to ensure that your room is at a comfortable temperature. Make sure that it isn’t too hot or cold. Do this, and you should be able to sleep without any problems.