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We all know that not getting enough sleep isn’t good for anyone, regardless of your activity levels. If you’ve recently started training, you may be unaware of the impact not enough sleep will have when trying to achieve your goals. 
 
Today we’re going to be talking about the importance of sleep, especially when it comes to muscle growth, fitness levels, and focus. 

Why is Sleep So Important? 

There are many reasons why sleep is important for both the body and the brain, some of them more scientific than the others. An average adult needs 7-9 hours sleep per night in order to properly function and feel rested the following day. 
 
As humans, we have 2 main phases of sleep that we experience each night. 
 
• Rapid Eye Movement (REM) 
• Non Rapid Eye Movement (Deep Sleep). 

REM Sleep 

REM sleep makes up 20-25% of your total time asleep and is the stage at which your brain is active. This is the stage that we tend to dream. REM usually occurs in the later stages of sleep to help you wake up. 

Deep Sleep 

Deep sleep is the critical sleep stage that promotes healing within the body. 
 
Deep sleep makes up around 40% of your sleep time and is the stage in which your brain is at its least active. Due to the brain being less active, the blood surplus within the body targets the muscles in order to promote healing. This is incredibly important after training. 
 
Deep sleep is key for hormone secretion. Many hormones are released during this time such as Melatonin, Cortisol, and the growth hormone that comes from the Pituitary gland. This aids growth, repair, and healing to your muscles and other areas of the body with inflammation. 
Not getting enough deep sleep will cause the growth hormone to decline, resulting in aching muscles, fatigue, and less chance to repair all of which can make you more prone to injury. 
 
If you want to perform at your full potential, make sure you’re getting a good night’s sleep. It could be the difference between training plateau and reaching your next goal. 
 
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