The Reason You're Not Growing. (KILLING YOUR GAINS!)

Feeling sore is AMAZING right?! For the first day. It’s all fun and games until you’re prepping for the second leg day of the week and YOU’RE STILL SORE. When it comes to recovery there's so many different methods and supplements people are willing to spend their hard-earned money on! Not realizing, THE ONE SOLUTION is right under their noses.  

 

SLEEP 

 

I know you’re probably about to smash your fist through your computer for not thinking of such an easy solution. Before you do let me hit you with some facts, so you can go home tonight, get some proper rest, and destroy your training session tomorrow.  

 

 How much SLEEP do we REALLY NEED? 

I won’t bore you with too much science on this topic, because there are TONS of articles that explain the science of sleep. I’m here to give you the information you ACTUALLY need to know.  

Depending on how old you are you may require more sleep-in order to function like a normal human being. Put the coffee cup down and get some more sleep.  

 

 

Ages 18 – 25: 7 to 9 hours of sleep 

During those hours you go through FOUR stages of sleep: 

Stage One: This makes up 2% - %5 of your sleep. It’s the time between you being awake and going to sleep. For most of us this is the most difficult part.  

Stage Two: This makes up 45% - 60% of our Non-REM sleep. Consider this our baseline sleep time. 

Stage Three and Four: 40% of our sleep time. Consider this Delta sleep.  The deepest stage of sleep and the time our body uses to restore our brain.  

REM Sleep: This is it. The moment your body has been waiting for. 20% - 25% of our sleep happens in this beautiful stage. Our brain revs everything up here, rapid eye movement, and heart rate elevates.  

Your brain will follow this cycle for 90 – 100 minutes while you sleep and most follow this cycle for about 5 times during sleep.  

 

How a LACK of SLEEP is KILLING your GAINS 

Inadequate sleep results in you being a zombie all day. Sure, life isn't perfect and we won't always get optimal sleep, but like most things in life, what you put focus on will improve. For us athletes proper sleep is important because it’s the one time of the day where our body shuts down and recovers.  

Let’s do the math: More sleep = More energy in the gym. EASY.  

Your brain needs to recharge. Think about ALL the stress you go through in your everyday life. Hitting the gym, working, dealing with family and friends are all everyday stressors. I don’t know about you guys, but by the end of my day I’m ready to make love to my bed. During sleep your brain is recharging to battle another day. Mental alertness is key when it comes to weightlifting. It’s that little voice in your head that helps you correct your form and says “Hey dumbass don’t go for that PR, you’re tired”  

 

SO now that we know the basics, let’s talk about how we can get BETTER sleep. 

  1. NO CAFFINE BEFORE BED. I love coffee as much as the next guy, but if we want to recover properly, we need to get better at cutting caffeine off. It keeps your central nervous system awake. Think of it ALWAYS being alert when you’re trying to go to sleep. 

 

  1. CORRECT YOUR SLEEPING ENVIRONMENT. This can be a variety of things, turning off your phone or setting it aside before bed, don’t do work in bed or lay in it all day (I know...challenging task), and lastly set the mood for a good night's rest.  

 

  1. TAKE A WARM BATH. Body temperature plays a huge role in feeling comfortable before bed. A warm bath will help your body release some heat and cool you off before bed 

 

What about sleeping aids? 

 

If you're considering a sleeping aid make sure to talk to a doctor first. Just keep in mind these are AIDS. They shouldn’t be used for a long period time. Enough for you to get back on track with a proper sleeping schedule and THAT IS IT.  

Yes, there are options out there like melatonin, 

I hope you guys enjoyed this read! Check out my Instagram @RMHFitness_ and leave me a topic that you’d like for me to cover on a future article.  

Ricardo Hernandez 

Citations:  

https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/the-importance-of-sleep.html 

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/sleep-needs-get-the-sleep-you-need.htm 

https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2018/july/sleeping-aids

 

1 comment

  • Excellent article with great detail and info! I know I need to work on getting the 7-8 hours, but having to wake at up at 4 to be able to get to the gym sometimes only allows me 6.5 hours. Working on it!

    Kris

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