Within recent decades, personal fitness has seen a massive influx in better technology and overall participants. However, many such ‘gym goers’ know little about how to correctly treat their bodies outside of the gym in order to maximize their results. Sleeping is one of the most undervalued effects on muscular growth in the fitness world. How does something that takes up 33 percent of our day affect our body?
When working out, we are consistently putting our bodies under extreme conditions in order to tear apart muscle fibers. These tears are actually what allow our muscles to grow. However, in order to continue this cycle, you must have the correct ratio of nutrients and time in order to completely heal these microscopic tears, microtears. The healing process is performed by our growth hormones(HGH) and protein(amino acids). While sleeping, your body secretes more HGH resulting in faster recovery. With faster recovery, our body is able to go back to the gym and endure another high-intensity workout while still growing.
Click here to learn about muscle growth.
“Sleep is 90% of recovery, regeneration and repairing the body and mind.”
-Navin Hettiarachchi, Director of Athletic Performance Washington Wizards
How much sleep should the average teenager from 13-18 years old get? According to the CDC, teenagers should sleep at a minimum of 8 hours per 24 hour time period. However, to maximize your results, 10 hours of sleep is recommended. Following this study, the CDC also reported that “about 7 out of 10 (72.7%) did not get enough sleep”; in regards to high school students. How do we increase this number?
Sleep deprivation is caused by many things. These factors include stress, energy, change in schedule, lifestyle, etc. Unfortunately, with many of these factors, the less sleep you get the worse the causes become.
There are 4 stages of sleep, N1, N2, N3, and REM. The goal is to achieve REM sleep every night. REM sleep stands for Rapid Eye Movement, where most of your dreaming takes place. This stage is where HGH is most heavily secreted. Outside of the fitness realm, REM sleep also helps “your brain consolidate and process new information”, according to The National Sleep Foundation. Additionally, REM sleep “helps to ensure better mental concentration and mood regulation”.
Click here to learn more about REM sleep
The fix for this lack of sleep is simply easier said than done. With that being said, there still are some ways to increase sleep total and efficiency. These solutions include:
The Calm App
The calm app is the “#1 app for sleep, meditation, and relaxation”. Its mission is to make the world happier and healthier. The plan is to do this through audio recordings that induce a calming state, hence the name of the app. They have a wide variety of sections within the app. Meditation, sleep, music, soundscapes, work recordings, breathing exercises, and even podcasts to ‘spark’ intuition are included in the functions of this app. This app ranges from $14.99 per month, $69.99 per year, and $399.99 for a lifetime membership. The reviewers most commonly reflected on how quickly they were able to fall asleep when using the app and how the app reduced stress and anxiety. This app received a 4.8 out of a 5-star review on the app store and is highly recommended.
Click here to learn more
2. Sleep Cycle
Sleep Cycle analyzes your sleep patterns overnight and gives you feedback on what is going wrong while you are sleeping. “Sleep Cycle is immensely useful in figuring out the cause and what you can change or maintain, to reach or keep better sleep” according to their website. This platform also provides articles to help you learn how to better sleep for yourself. It gives you nightly strategies to improve sleep quality and covers new studies to give you an idea of the future of sleep. Sleep Cycle has a 4.7 out of 5-star rating on the app store. The app is most publicized for its educational benefits regarding sleep and how prosperous its advanced technology is in relation to deeper and longer sleep. This app is highly recommended for insomniacs in addition to advice from your doctor. If you are just interested in how your entire night’s sleep changes, this app is also very useful.
Click here to learn more
3. Livhò Blue Light Glasses
Blue light glasses are great for your eyes, however, they have one added benefit. Blue light glasses are designed to specifically block out blue light rays. These blu light rays aren’t great for your eyes, but they also hinder your sleep. Blue light does this because it blocks your body’s ability to produce melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that causes drowsiness. The blue light glasses block this light allowing your body to produce melatonin resulting in more want to go to sleep. This will overall aid in your sleep endeavors. Livhò is overall the highest-rated blue light glasses company on amazon today. Not only are they sturdy and effective, but they also come at a great price. For just $15.98 – $25.00, you can get two pairs on amazon. The glasses come in a great assortment of colors and are highly rated for their comfortability. They are rated 4.3 out of 5 stars and were awarded Amazon’s Choice in Computer Blue Light Blocking Glasses.
Click here to learn more; Click here for the Amazon listing
With great devices and apps like the three listed above, sleep quantity and quality will take a leap for the better. Outside of these devices, however, are a few strategies to run through every night before bed.
Stick to a sleep schedule
Create a Proper Sleep Environment
Limit Naps; Quantity and Duration
Avoid Caffeine and Large Meals
Try to Limit Stress Before bed; Keep Your Life Separate from Sleep
Keep on Chargin’ Chargers and don’t forget a goodnight’s sleep while doing it!