Sleep and Exercise

Author: Eric Knight B.A. Hon. Kin., CPT, Ergonomist
We hear it all the time. “I can’t seem to be getting big gains from my workouts”. “I’ve been up all night”. “I usually sacrifice sleep over everything else”. Sleep and rest are some of the more overlooked factors when it comes to muscle gain and weight loss. Too often, people think all they have to do is workout and that the body will automatically become stronger or leaner. However, it is during sleep when our body rebuilds itself and recuperates.

Sleep helps replenish your body’s energy. During your strength workouts, you receive tiny tears in our muscle fibres. During sleep, your body regenerates, releasing growth hormones. This is where your improvements come from. Therefore, to get muscular gains from your workouts, you must get sufficient sleep in order to reap what you sow. As well, sleep affects your metabolic rate, mood, awareness, and performance.

Muscle growth is not the only growth affected by sleep. Your body’s height is also affected by sleep. During the day, gravity pulls on your body, therefore, compressing the spine. In other words, your body shrinks during the day. During sleep, our spine no longer feels the effect of gravity pulling it shorter (unless you sleep standing up). This is the time when our spine grows back to its original height and allows for opportunity to grow.

With lack of sleep, your body will not be able to fully benefit from your workouts. You will not have sufficient recuperating time from the wear and tear placed on your body. As well, you diminish opportunity for growth. In addition to all this, since your body is not receiving the chance to recover, you are now more prone to injuries. Sleep is needed for injury prevention.

Keep all these in mind next time you plan on pulling an all-nighter.

Have a great sleep!!!