Why Fitness Freaks Should Take Sleep Seriously

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Calling the attention of all calorie counting exercise enthusiasts – Are you sleeping enough? Are you letting your body relax and recover after your intense workout? If not, the countless hours you spend keeping your body in shape is practically rendered useless. If you’re wondering what staying fit has to do with sleeping, you will be surprised to know that the two are strongly interlinked.

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sleep and exercising strongly linked
good sleep helps to stay fit

All the hard work you put into getting fitter will show results only if you are well rested. When you work out, the muscles in your body tear to some extent causing fatigue in them. Especially intense workouts or strength training causes multiple microscopic tears in the body that accumulate over a period of time. When they recover, the protein strands in the muscle also known as myofibrils not only grow in size but also in strength and capacity. In order to recover sooner and better, the body needs to rest enough. A minimum of eight hours of undisturbed sleep is paramount to complete the cycle of muscle breakdown and regeneration.

A balanced nutritional diet of carbohydrates, proteins and fat aids the process. Expert suggest a high protein intake in food before sleep encourages muscle build up. As you sleep, the nutritious food in your body is wholly used to build muscle. Other avenues of expending the food are minimal because energy consumption is at the lowest when you sleep. The stress hormone - cortisol also plays a big role in body building. Cortisol is released when you experience high stress levels and is instrumental in reducing the protein synthesis. When you sleep the stress levels in your body are the lowest thus releasing less cortisol. Which in turn means less interference in protein build-up process.

protien diet before sleep for muscle buildup


proper intake of carbs, protein and fat before sleep

Here is how you can ensure you get stronger even as you doze...

  • Inculcate a sleep routine. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Avoid exercise right before sleep. It is advisable to maintain a gap of at least 2-3 hours between bedtime and exercise.
  • Do not go to bed on an empty stomach. Make sure you’ve had a proper intake of carbs, protein and fat.
  • Keep away from stimulants such as alcohol and nicotine. Your body needs undisturbed sleep, especially in REM cycle to make the most of your exercise.

Finally, if you skip on sleep after strenuous exercise, you are bound to experience immense fatigue. This will not only impact your fitness regime but also your regular routine. So, make sure you give your body the very essential good night’s sleep it needs before hitting the gym the next day.



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