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How Important Is Sleep For Muscle Recovery?

How Important Is Sleep For Muscle Recovery?


Your muscles require sleep in order for them to recover. Sleeping will ensure that your body has the ability to complete the necessary cycles of repair and recovery in order to achieve muscle growth. This is particularly important when it comes to muscles recovering from a heavy training session, especially after strength and endurance training, in which the muscles have been broken down to some degree.

What Happens When You Sleep?

It is crucial that you get enough sleep in order to ensure that your muscles are repaired and recovered properly.

When you’re sleeping your body is in a higher anabolic state and this means that your body uses the time when you are sleeping to repair and rejuvenate all of the tissue in your body, including muscle tissue. When you sleep, your body works hard to repair various parts of the body, including your muscular and immune system.

Also, your body releases growth hormones from your pituitary gland, and this growth hormone stimulates growth and muscle repair. When you do not sleep enough, there is a sharp decline in growth hormone secretion. Growth hormone deficiency is associated with increased obesity, loss of muscle mass and reduces exercise capacity.

Why Is Sleep So Important After Exercise?

After physical exercise, your muscles require additional sleep and recovery. This is because your muscles need extra sleep for them to grow and repair.

When you enter into a non-REM deep sleep, your blood pressure drops and your breathing becomes deeper and slower. Your brain is resting with minimal activity, so the blood supply available to your muscles increases, delivering extra amounts of oxygen and nutrients in order to facilitate their healing and growth.

What Is Cortisol and Why Is It Important?

Cortisol is a vital hormone in the body that aids in the breakdown of muscle tissue and inhibits muscle growth. When you don’t get adequate sleep, your body becomes stressed, and your cortisol levels rise. Cortisol is the regulator of immune response and it has a catabolic effect on tissue, and it is associated with a decrease in anabolic hormones. Reducing levels of cortisol in athletes is a good idea is order for the athlete to achieve tissue growth and positive adaptations to exercise training. The primary function of cortisol is to increase protein breakdown, inhibit glucose uptake and increase lipolysis (the breakdown of fats).

If you only sleep four hours or less per night, you are considered as being sleep deprived. The recommended time of sleep is between seven and nine hours per night for the average adult, and this is particularly important if you are exercising on a regular basis.

If you would like more information about how sleep helps with muscle recovery, feel free to contact us here at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic.

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