Sleep Your Way to a Lean Muscular Physique

by Greg Haglund 2104 views Gain Muscle

Sleep Your Way to a Lean Muscular Physique

Experts suggest we should get 8 hours sleep per night. That is 1/3 of our day (24 hours) sleeping. So, if you live to be 75 years old you will have slept 25 of those years.

That sounds awful, spending 25 years in bed missing out on doing cool stuff. However, the truth is if you don’t take those 25 years to rest and recover you will never live to 75 anyway. Study after study has linked sleep deprivation with ill health, chronic disease, obesity, anxiety, depression, diabetes, inflammation, muscle atrophy (loss) and early death. Hence the saying “dead tired”.

In this article, we are going to look at the impact poor sleep has on the way we feel and the way we look. You will discover how you can improve the length and quality of your sleep to improve your physique, health and mental wellbeing.

What is the optimal length of sleep?

This topic has been debated for decades and still there is no conclusive answer. It seems that while quantity is important, quality is even more important. With the myriad of sleep monitoring devices being worn around the planet today there has never been more data to draw from. So, what is this data telling us?  

It’s telling us that the optimal length of sleep is between 6–8 hours for adults. Longer for teenagers, children and babies. In fact, participants in one study that got less than 6 hours of sleep had a 246% greater gain in visceral fat (dangerous internal fat) than those who got 6-8 hours. However, subjects who slept over 8 hours also had a 169% greater gain in visceral fat.

Why is a lack of sleep making us fat?

There are many reasons but let’s look at the main culprits below…

Insulin Resistance

That’s right, a lack of quality sleep may lead to insulin resistance. In one study, healthy young men who were sleep deprived (4 hours a night) for 6 nights developed symptoms of pre-diabetes. The good news is that their insulin resistance was reversed after 1 week of increased sleep.

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Inflammation

The silent killer. Inflammation, when left unchecked in a systemic and chronic manner leads to all kinds of poor health outcomes.

Recently several studies have linked inflammation to diabetes, poor nutrient uptake and obesity.

In fact, some experts are calling obesity an inflammatory disease. The good news is many foods and supplements (like KETO SWITCH™) lower inflammation rapidly, which may help you lose weight and reverse ill health.

Poor Appetite Control

It’s not your fault. Well it kind of is. The hormones that control your appetite are rapidly and poorly influenced by a lack of sleep. Just two nights of poor sleep can see Leptin (satiating hormone) drop by 18% and Ghrelin (hunger hormone) rise by 28%. A better night’s sleep will have these hormones returning to normal and you will likely eat less.

Mental Cognition

You just can’t think straight! Ever noticed that when you have a poor night sleep you make bad decisions, are generally more irritable and far less focused. Motivation is often at an all-time low and while you may muster the energy (from caffeine) to exercise, the benefits aren’t as great because the effort isn’t either.

Increased Cortisol

This adrenal hormone is essential for life. However, too much or too little can cause chaos with our sleep patterns making it even harder to lose body fat and build lean muscle. When your hormones are balanced, and working for you it’s a wonderful thing. However, when they are out of balance you may feel and look your worst.  

How does a lack of sleep limit our muscle gain?

Between 40-60% of your muscle recovery and growth occurs while you are sleeping. In fact, almost all wild animals eat and then sleep. They do this to rest and digest, allowing the nutrients to help their body recover. L-leucine is a key amino acid involved in signalling muscle repair (mTOR pathway). Glycine is a key amino acid involved in reducing muscle breakdown by turning off Atrogin-1. According to Japanese researchers Glycine not only reduces muscle breakdown but also promotes a restful sleep and reduces tiredness the next day. Both of these key amino acids have been added to ADRENAL SWITCH™ to help improve sleep, enhance recovery and reduce muscle loss.

How can we improve our sleep?

There are many ways to improve sleep but let’s cover a couple of easy ones below…

Don’t have caffeine too close to bed time

caffeine

Caffeine and other stimulants excite the sympathetic nervous system, which activates the flight or fight response. When you want to sleep, the last thing you want to be doing is fighting or running (flight). You need to have drinks, herbs or supplements like ADRENAL SWITCH™ that activate the para-sympathetic nervous system. This system slows down the high energy sympathetic system and starts to encourage a state of relaxation.

Remove blue light

Blue light replicates the sun. Since our circadian rhythms (sleep and wake cycle) were once dictated by the rise and fall of the sun it stands to reason that blue light may keep us awake. So where is blue light coming from? It is in almost all digital screens like TV’s, computers, tablets and smart phones. So, either shut them off after the sun goes down, install a blue light blocking app or wear blue light blocking sunglasses.

Supplement with Magnesium and Ashwagandha

Let’s start with Magnesium. This essential mineral is involved in over 600 biochemical reactions in our bodies. One of the most important for sleep is the relaxing effect it has on our muscular and nervous systems. This may be why our parents and grandparents had Epsom salt baths.

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Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an Ayurvedic herb that has been used for 3,000+ years as an adaptogen.

It allows your body to adapt to stress more efficiently by regulating adrenal hormones like cortisol.

With cortisol back in sync you are more likely to release the required amount of serotonin and melatonin for a rested night’s sleep.

Also, regulating cortisol may have a positive downstream benefit on sex hormones, which may help increase vitality, recovery, mood, energy and libido.

Both Ashwagandha and Magnesium plus much more are found in ADRENAL SWITCH™. This 100% natural supplement was designed to be used after training (any time of the day) and before bed to help calm the sympathetic nervous system and support your adrenals. ADRENAL SWITCH™ can be used daily to help reduce stress, improve sleep and enhance muscle recovery. 

Greg Haglund

Owner - Switch Nutrition

I have been selling and formulating sports nutrition products for more than 16 years. Supplements, Training, Nutrition and Health have become my passion and my profession. Switch Nutrition imports and distribute the latest cutting edge products and disseminate useful information to help people get the best results possible.

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