Sleep is one factor most people overlook when trying to gain muscle. However, it’s effects on your workouts might be more pronounced than you previously thought.
A good night’s sleep is the key to having the energy we need to conquer the day, and yet, more than 30 percent of us don’t get the seven hours of shut-eye we need per night just to stay healthy, according to the CDC.
Big deal, or no? Well, if you care about getting the most out of your workouts (and life in general), your sleep is a pretty big deal. Skimp on sleep and your workouts (not to mention, your gains from the exertion) will suffer.
No Rest? You Won’t Be Your Best.
“People believe that, ‘Well if I don’t sleep I’m kind of a mess, but I can go for days on end and I’m fine,’” says Dr. W. Chris Winter, M.D., sleep specialist and author of The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep is Broken and How to Fix It. Winter explains that you may feel okay, and even have the energy you need to get through your day, but the research is clear that when it comes to exercise performance, you’re definitely not okay.
In fact, people who exercise may need more sleep than their inactive counterparts — especially when they exercise at a high intensity. “Since the role of sleep is to restore the body’s energy supply, it’s intuitive that the more high-intensity [the exercise], the more sleep you require,” says Dr. Robert Graham, M.D., M.P.H., co-founder of FRESH Med at Physiologic NYC.
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