Sleep is a fascinating subject and the more that we uncover about it, we begin to realise it is an extremely vital active physiological process.
While asleep your body is busy restoring all of your bodily systems while you’re in a Deep Sleep state, also known as ‘slow-wave’ sleep, where your brain wave activity drops to Delta waves and is almost resting with very little activity.
Deep sleep accounts for about 25% of our sleep time and your body requires quality deep sleep each night and especially so after illness, injury, surgery and even after intense physical exercise or activity.
A major contribution to the healing effects of deep sleep is the release of your natural growth hormone (HGH) from your pituitary gland that stimulates tissue growth and muscle repair.
Also, the blood supply available to your muscles increases, delivering extra amounts of oxygen, hormones and nutrients which facilitate rejuvenation and growth while repairing muscles, tendons, bone and cartilage etc, refueling glycogen stores, ridding metabolic waste, restoring optimal neural function and boosting the immune system – new cells are also regenerated during this phase of sleep.
Furthermore, if you are training at the gym for example, it is not the training that is building muscle and so on, it is actually the time spent in recovery, particularly during sleeping hours that the body builds muscle and often when we plateau when muscle training we train more which only leads to overtraining and is detrimental to your muscles; or if we start feeling overly fatigued we end up sleeping in more often and so on.
In both scenarios you only end up disrupting your bodily processes even more – The key is increasing the quality of your sleep…
Poor sleep will have a negative impact on your entire body and muscular system, resulting in persistent muscle and joint pain, fatigue. It also causes a decline in growth hormone secretion and the cumulative effect leads to deficiency which is associated with loss of muscle mass (atrophy) and reduced exercise capacity and more.
Suffice to say QUALITY SLEEP is the most important thing for muscle rejuvenation.
Here’s to a good night sleep!
Quality sleep is a topic of hot debate as there are so many conflicting opinions in mainstream medical research that is it hard to know what constitutes ‘quality sleep.’
For tips on how to optimize your sleep for all you peak performers or chronic pain sufferers, read my article – 10 Steps to Instantly Increase Your Quality of Sleep.