How Important is Sleep for Recovery?
Sleep is very important for recovery. The article isn’t over just yet, but sleep is one of the most important recovery and progress variables in sport and exercise. The time you spend sleeping is designed to shut off all your non-essential systems so that your body can perform incredibly important maintenance tasks.
Sleep and Muscle Recover
Recovery from exercise and other training is dependent on the ability to relax and provide the muscles with time to perform protein synthesis. Protein makes up muscles (this is why your diet needs to be high in protein for maximum recovery), and the time you spend sleeping is used to create the new proteins necessary for muscular development, as well as proper enzyme and organ health.
Sleep Deprivation: a Real Performance and Health Risk
Sleep deprivation is an incredibly serious condition that can affect immune system function, muscular development, strength and power, cognitive performance, and a variety of other health markers. If you’re looking to perform at your best in any field of life, proper sleep (which means at least 8 hours a night) is not optional. Success in exercise, business, relationships, and academia all rely on proper mental performance: don’t let your head hold you back from success.
Studies have shown that sleeping even 1 hour less (7 hours rather than 8) can negatively affect the way that recovery occurs in the body. This is because sleep is an essential part of hormonal health, which controls mood, performance, recovery, and even your ability to lose fat and build muscle. Make sure that you’re giving yourself every chance for maximum success by getting adequate sleep.
How Can You Improve Recovery Through Sleep?
The first step, as mentioned above, is to achieve optimal sleep time: you need 8 hours a night, it’s not a myth! You might be able to live on less, but your quality of life and progress will both be limited.
You also need to get the right quality of sleep: this means undisturbed sleep in a dark, cool room. Sleep quality isn’t discussed enough, but it can have a huge impact on your health and wellbeing. Be sure to sleep when it is dark and wake up when it is light, and avoid using too many “blue light” devices before bed. This means decreasing your computer and television time in the hour leading up to bed time.
Getting into a sleeping routine is not easy, but it is a great way to boost muscle recovery and sleep repair for the body and mind. Get to sleep at the same time each night, if possible, for best results. Setting up a night time routine is a great way to achieve this and you can include recovery-boosting techniques like drinking hot tea, performing core exercises and stretching/mobility work. These will make you tired, boost your muscle recovery, and improve your sleep quality overall.