Mailbag: How important is sleep to my workout?

Sleep is naturally very important to the human body, without sleep the body would shut off and you would die. Today we are going to answer a question we get pretty often and that is how important is sleep to working out and how much should you get. Now before we dive into it, there is tons of discussion on the topic and many apps and programs to assist with measuring and achieving a better sleep. It is important to note that what might work for one person might not work for another person so take this as a very general guide.

2000px-Effects_of_sleep_deprivation.svgExperts say that the average person should get somewhere between 6.5-8 hours of sleep and we tend to agree. It is very important that you let your body rest, your muscles need time to recover and rebuild. Keep in mind that during sleep your body is releasing growth hormone (bet I have your attention now!) at its highest concentration, helping you recover and build more muscle.

But if that doesn’t convince you that you should be getting your 6.5-8 hours of sleep then let me tell you what happens when you don’t get enough sleep. Studies show that people who on average get less than 6 hours of sleep show much higher evening cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone that actually breaks down body tissue and reverses the effects of muscle building. Say good bye to those gains! Not only that but because cortisol is breaking down body tissue it makes it much harder to recover and increases the risks of injuries.

In conclusion sleep is as important as nutrition and lifting, so make sure you sleep, eat, and lift! Goodnight folks!