THE IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP POST-WORKOUT 

22nd May 2018

One of the best benefits of staying fit and working out regularly is an increased boost of energy. While it might seem to make more sense that you would tired after a long, strenuous workout, regular exercise actually increases the body’s overall vigor and reduces the likelihood of tiring easily. That doesn’t mean you should avoid getting a full night’s sleep post workout. In fact, getting a full night’s sleep is essential to growing strong and healthy muscle mass. 

WHY DOES SLEEP HELP MUSCLE GROWTH ? 

As you likely know, tiny, microscopic tears are created in your muscles at a cellular level during your workouts. As these tears are repaired post-workout, your muscles are rebuilt bigger and tougher than before. This is why you see muscle definition and feel stronger following regular exercise and weight-lifting. 

While you sleep, your body falls into a higher anabolic state, meaning your body uses the time while you are asleep to repair and grow this torn muscle tissue. 

Your body constructs larger muscle building-block molecules while you sleep, meaning you can rebuild muscle growth faster and more effectively while you sleep than you can during the day. 

EXACTLY HOW MUCH SLEEP IS ENOUGH ?

How much sleep you need greatly depends on your own body. Some people need 10 hours of sleep while others can’t sleep longer than 5 or 6 hours and that’s just fine too. Listen to your body and understand when you are tired or have overslept and feel groggy when waking. 

A general rule of thumb? Most people need between 8 and 10 hours of sleep. Shorter than this and you may not be letting your muscles repair fully, longer than this and you risk being too rested to get a full nights sleep the following night. 

Whichever ‘sweet-spot’ you settle on, make sure that you get enough sleep both after your high-intensity workout days and on your rest-days. Getting adequate sleep ensures that your muscles are repairing and recovering properly. 

Synthesizing Muscle Tissue While You Sleep 

The science behind synthesizing muscle tissue is actually quite fascinating. 

In order to grow muscle mass (this process is known as hypertrophy) your body should be synthesizing proteins faster than it is breaking down proteins. 

During periods of sleep is the longest time your body has between meals to synthesize proteins and build muscle tissue. But, if you sleep too long, your body will shift from mainly synthesizing protein to breaking down protein. 

Increasing Amino Acid Intake To Reduce Protein Breakdown 

One way to inhibit this shift from protein synthesis to protein breakdown while you sleep is by drinking whey protein isolate before you sleep. Whey proteins elevate amino acid levels significantly, for a short period of time, lowering the chance and amount of protein breakdown that occurs within your muscles. 

Try Protein Empire’s Micellar Casein protein shake before bed as it digests slowly to enhance muscle recovery & growth up to 12 hours. 

OTHER SUPPLEMENTS THAT MAKE SLEEP MORE PRODUCTIVE

5-HTP

5-HTP is another product that contributes to your muscle growth and overall health. 

5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is a protein building block chemical. 5-HTP is used for everything from sleep disorders to depression, anxiety and even tension-type headaches such as migraines. People with disorders like premenstrual syndrome, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder and even binge eating disorders can all be aided by the taking of 5-HTP. 

How does it work?

5-HTP works in the brain and central nervous system by increasing the production of serotonin, a chemical that affects sleep, appetite, temperature, sexual behavior and feelings of pain. Because it works to certain mood, behavior and other feelings in the body, 5-HTP helps to improve a good night’s sleep and, in turn, increase healthy muscle production. 

Try: Protein Empire’s 5-HTP supplement. Each of the 90, 100mg capsules contain pure Griffonia simpicifolia. 

ZMA

ZMA is a zinc and magnesium recovery supplement. Contributing to improved sleep and better sexual health, ZMA is a great supplement to be taken as an after-workout recovery and before bed for deeper, more beneficial sleep. 

Zinc contributes to macronutrient metabolism and helps protect cells from oxidate stress while magnesium helps maintain healthy hormone production and converts food into energy. Both help the body carry out normal body functions such as protein synthesis, improving muscle production while you get a fuller, longer rest. 

Try: Protein Empire ZMA supplement for more restful and productive sleep. 

Skimp On Sleep, See Your Muscles Suffer

The main takeaway from this article is how crucial it is that you get a full night’s sleep, every night, but particularly after long workout days. Just like you need to give your mind a rest after a long day of studying to retain the information you’ve just learned, you need to get a full night’s rest in order to let your muscles recover and grow stronger. 

After all, the brain is a muscle. It needs time to rest and absorb the information it has just taken in. In the same way, your body’s muscles need time to take in and use protein to build bigger, stronger muscle tissue. 

Getting proper rest, in combination with taking supplements that aid in a full night’s sleep and help your muscle tissue repair, is crucial to recovering from a workout and building strong muscle. 

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