I couldn’t find a pic of me sleeping, so here’s my dog.
I’ve heard this saying for years, that “sleep is the cousin of death.” The idea that while you’re sleeping, that someone else is out there working hard. And hard work brings success so sleeping must be evil…
Hard work will always get you places, especially in the gym. But replenishing your body with a good sleep will allow you to work better, think clearer and be happier and more successful in the long run.
When you’re talking about work, there are obviously times when you have to miss some hours of sleep to get something done that has a deadline, that’s just life. But the idea that sleeping is counter productive is useless, especially when it comes to the weight room.
I had this idea stuck in my head for most of my life. In high school I was in the gym for an hour before school working on my jump shot (basketball), after school I’d lift and shoot again, then I’d have practice, and I’d shoot some more and work on some other things agian after practice. I got no sleep! If I had just calmed down a bit and let me body recover once and a while and made my workouts shorter and more effective, I would have been able to put on some lean mass and that would’ve helped my game just as much as those extra jump shots.
When you’re trying to put on lean mass, sleep is your best friend. You need AT LEAST 8 hours every night, and a nap in the afternoon – which releases growth hormone in your body – is also a good idea.
When you’re in the gym you’re breaking down muscle fibers by lifting weights. That’s why you take things like protein powder and a multi vitamin after a workout; to help repair those broken down muscle fibers, that’s what helps your muscles grow. Your muscle’s recovering is what makes them bigger, another thing that helps your body recover is sleep!
I actually happen to be one of the worst sleepers on the planet, but I try and get my 8 hours in, I actually aim for more like 10 but end up getting around 5 or 6, I suck at it! If I have the time I’ll take a nap in the afternoon, after a lift. But when I get my 8-10 I can really feel it, it makes a world of difference.
Plan your day so you can get a full 8 hours and a 30 minute nap and see how it goes.
Also, if you have any tips for getting to sleep let me know, I could always use a bit of help in that department!