Getting your sleep right is vital for performance gains and at MyoMaster we believe sleep is the most underused performance enhancer available to every athlete on the planet.
At some point or another we’ve all been in a sleep deficit while attempting to train at maximal capacity and it never ends well. We’re more prone to injuries, our focus is reduced and when the going gets really tough, it feels like there’s nothing in the tank to really push on and hit those elusive PBs.
In this recovery club we want to explore the 3 key ways deep sleep enhances recovery so you can start building effective protocols into your sleep routine to ensure you’re always able to give that extra 1%
Sleep = Growth Hormones.
Dr Michael Breus, aka ‘the sleep doctor’ is a clinical psychologist and a Fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine. His work has primarily been focused on achieving peak performance during waking hours by improving sleep quality. He states that..
“During the deepest stage of NREM sleep, the pituitary gland secretes about 70 percent of the hGH it makes, which stimulates tissue growth and helps repair muscles from both exercise and normal daily wear and tear.”
HGH has also been shown to help heal damage to tendons and ligaments by synthesizing collagen.
In the largest study of its type, a University Of Chicago researcher called Eve Van Cuarter found that as men transitioned from youth into their midlife, their deep sleep decreases resulting in a lower amount of HGH production. The study also revealed that, regardless of age, the less deep sleep we get the less HGH is produced.
Sleep = Muscle Mass
Myofibrillar proteins are the building blocks of tube shaped cells that bind together to form muscle fibers. The synthesis of these proteins is a metabolic process that’s responsible for the changes in muscle mass after resistance training.
In a study entitled ‘The effect of sleep restriction, with or without high-intensity interval exercise, on myofibrillar protein synthesis in healthy young men’ researchers found that after only 5 nights of sleep deprivation the test subjects had significantly reduced myofibrillar protein synthesis than the subjects getting a full night sleep.
Dr Jenna Gress Smith, a sleep scientist and researcher notes that “Whether it’s through protein synthesis or other pathways, it’s clear that restful sleep and muscle growth and recovery are closely linked,”
Sleep = Muscle Glycogen
Some of us will have tried carb loading the night before a big race in order to increase the glycogen available to the muscles the next day - this is because glycogen is the primary source of energy for our muscles.
In order to get optimal glycogen replacement, we need deep restorative sleep. In a study entitled ‘Sleep disorders and the development of insulin resistance and obesity’ researchers identified the link between reduced sleep quality and a decrease in insulin sensitivity. This is important as releasing insulin lowers blood glucose levels by prompting the liver and muscles to take up glucose from the blood and store it as glycogen.
Getting enough sleep is critical to ensuring our body adequately replenishes our bodies energy source.