We spend a third of our lives sleeping! While we sleep, the body regulates its cellular, organic and hormonal functions. Sleep is therefore a decisive phase for the maintenance of health, but also for sports performance. Indeed, lack of sleep is a sneaky enemy that can jeopardize all your goals of mass gain or muscle definition, and it is essential to pay special attention to it. Because in addition to the additional fatigue it generates, lack of sleep can have deleterious effects on health: rise in blood pressure, increase in cortisol levels, reduction in cognitive functions, reduction in testosterone levels, changes in eating behavior and reduced protein synthesis. You read that right…lack of sleep has a direct impact on your health, but also on your body composition.
- 1 WHAT HAPPENS DURING SLEEP?
- 2 THE DIFFERENT PHASES OF SLEEP
- 3 THE CONSEQUENCES OF LACK OF SLEEP
- 4 HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR SLEEP TO IMPROVE YOUR PHYSICAL?
WHAT HAPPENS DURING SLEEP?
Sleep is a precious phase of each of our days, where the body repairs itself, detoxifies itself, and where growth is at its peak.
The sleep phase allows you to manage the emotions stored during the day, stress, but also has an impact on the brain itself, which regenerates itself during the REM sleep phase. It is at this privileged time that the brain metabolizes and classifies information and sensations, in order to store them in memory. It is for this reason that everything you learn before sleeping is more easily memorized than what you have seen or heard during the day. Lack of sleep has a direct impact on mood, concentration, ability to manage emotions and daily tasks.
During sleep, muscles also regenerate. Toxins are released, lesions repair, amino acids, fatty acids and glycogen are metabolized. Muscles grow during sleep.
skin and bones
It is during sleep that skin and bones repair and renew themselves. As you will have noticed, scratches and other small wounds change appearance after a night’s sleep, but never during the day.
THE DIFFERENT PHASES OF SLEEP
Sleep is an active phase during which several cycles follow one another: generally 3 to 5 cycles of about 90 minutes, for a total sleep time of about 8 hours. Each cycle is divided into 3 phases: light sleep, deep sleep and REM sleep.
Stage 1: Light sleep
It is a transition phase between the state of wakefulness and sleep during which the heart rate decreases and the muscles relax.
Phase 2: deep slow sleep
Considered the most important phase of sleep, deep sleep is a state from which it is difficult to wake up. The sleeper is totally cut off from the world. Brain activity is at its minimum and it is during this period that the body recovers best from physical fatigue.
Phase 3: REM sleep
We call this phase of sleep so because the sleeper is both very sleepy but shows signs of awakening. Cerebral activity is very intense there and it is during this phase that we dream.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF LACK OF SLEEP
After a sleepless night, you feel “next to your pumps”. It’s hard to concentrate, physical tasks are difficult to perform, joint and muscle pains kick in, and time passes very, very slowly. It can happen that you sleep badly because of the heat, stress or too much coffee, but most of the time the sleep debt can be made up for the following night, without too many consequences. On the other hand, chronic insomnia is a pathology that puts the whole organism in danger, and muscle mass even more.
It’s harder to manage your emotions when you don’t get enough sleep. Depressive states, anxiety and mood swings manifest themselves quickly.
Weakened immune system
The body is more sensitive to germs and microbes when you lack sleep, the immune system lacks the resources to function optimally. It becomes much easier to catch colds and other illnesses that can slow your progress.
It is during sleep that the brain manages information and memorizes it. Not sleeping is putting your memory at risk, both short and long term.
Increased blood pressure
The risks of blood pressure increase when you sleep less than 5 hours per night.
It’s harder to manage your appetite and energy when you’re sleep deprived. It has been proven that people who sleep little eat more, and that fat storage is facilitated by lack of sleep, hormonal secretions being disturbed by the reduction or absence of the deep sleep phase: thyroid hormones, testosterone, growth hormone.
Loss of muscle mass
Lack of sleep impacts hormonal secretion and energy metabolism. Protein synthesis is reduced and calories more easily stored as fatthe liver no longer being able to store muscle glycogen correctly.
Loss of equilibrium
Lack of sleep disrupts the body’s ability to stabilize in space. The supports on the ground are less precise, and the risks of accidents and falls increase in proportion.
Loss of libido
Lack of sleep disrupts testosterone secretions, which in turn causes low libido. The drop in libido leading to a reduction in the production of testosterone, it is the vicious circle that sets in.
Increased risk of diabetes
Lack of sleep has a negative impact on the production of insulin, the hormone that regulates blood glucose levels. Loss of insulin sensitivity increases blood sugar levels and therefore the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR SLEEP TO IMPROVE YOUR PHYSICAL?
You have understood that taking care of your sleep is decisive for the pursuit of your sports goals. Whether you want to gain muscle mass or lose weight, poor sleep is the most limiting factor because it is during sleep that muscles grow and the body gets rid of toxins.
Sleep in a cool room
The ideal is to sleep with the window open, so that the temperature does not exceed 18 degrees. In hot weather, take a shower before going to bed and keep a damp towel close to you. Install a fan that you direct towards your legs. Use a mineral water mist to refresh yourself at night without having to get up.
sleep in the dark
Don’t forget to close the curtains before going to bed. The light synchronizes the internal clockand you automatically enter “wake up” mode once the sun comes up.
Avoid getting up at night
Take your precautions: go to the toilet before going to sleep and keep a bottle of water near you if you feel thirsty during the night. The ideal is not to stay awake for more than 5 minutes. if you really have to get up.
Don’t sleep too much
We need 7-9 hours of sleep per night on average. The amount of sleep varies from individual to individual, but we all know how much sleep works best for us. If you need 7 hours of sleep to feel great, get 7 hours of sleep every night. even on weekends. Avoid sleeping in, which disrupts the internal clock and which, in addition, delays falling asleep. This is the best way to shift and sleep badly the following days.
Take casein half an hour before bedtime
Casein is a slow assimilation protein, which allows to deliver amino acids throughout sleep. Hormonal secretions helping, protein synthesis is optimal and muscle building assured. Also, casein (micellar or caseinate) is an interesting tool in the muscle definition phase because it “wedges” the stomach and cuts off hunger for several hours. Ideal for a good night’s sleep without stomach cramps.
Take ZMA just before sleeping
ZMA is a dietary supplement that contains zinc and magnesium, two minerals that optimize the secretion of growth hormone and testosterone during the deep sleep phase. This dietary supplement is ideal for a good, restorative night’s sleep, and to strengthen muscle development.
Use a light alarm clock to wake up gently
No more waking up to the sound of a shrill alarm! A light alarm clock (also called a dawn simulator) gradually wakes you from sleep. So you have more energy to start the day on the right foot – and train with maximum results.
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