We all know that a good night’s sleep is important for our mind and body to be refreshed and work properly, but when it comes to fitness, it holds more weight in terms of your progress. Sleep patterns vary from people to people, some get a sufficient amount of sleep on a daily basis and there are cases where people hardly sleep. Hence, sleep needs to be paid more attention to, and should be monitored. It might sound weird, the idea of monitoring the amount of sleep you are getting on a daily basis, but it is necessary to get the right amount of sleep, both sleeping less and sleeping more than required can be fatal in the long run resulting in various health issues.
Sleep, Recovery and Growth
The ones into fitness for a while are very well aware of the significance of sleep but for those who don’t realise this significance, listen up! When you have been training hard, busting your ass at the gym, eating clean, balancing macros, you demand results, and why not? Amongst all these factors, we often ignore the importance of sleep. The fact is, after everything you’ve done throughout the day, sleep can be that deciding factor why some people see results and others don’t.
After you workout, your muscles need time to recover. This recovery time depends on your fitness level, intensity of training, your nutrition etc. But when does your body actually recover? It is when you sleep. Try something here. After an intense training session, where you push yourself to the limit, try sleeping for a very short duration, say 4-5 hours. And on a different day, increase this duration to a full 8-9 hours of sound sleep. You will notice a difference, a pretty noticeable one, in terms of muscle soreness, recovery,fatigue. You’ll feel energised and roaring to go to the gym next day. Why do you think that muscle soreness slowly goes away in 2-3 days? It is because of the time it requires to heal, hence the sleep it requires. Hence, good sleep, less fatigue, better results.
If you are someone looking to maximise gains at the gym, sleep is the x-factor, besides the other factors such as training, nutrition, etc. You grow when you sleep. The way you look at it, all your gains are made when your body is resting, when you are sleeping. Your muscles recover, as I discussed above, only to grow stronger than before, thus resulting in gains. Hence, a proper sleep is important. No, sleep is not the only factor that will decide your progress, but it is certainly something which needs to be paid more attention to and shouldn’t be ignored. Recovery and growth are interrelated and go hand in hand and so does sleep.
How much Sleep?
The main question, after all the importance, how much sleep is essential? People around the world have different views on the issue, Some will say that 8 hours of sleep is a must while others will tell you that even 5 hours is enough. I try to look at it from a more practical point of view. We all have different routines, some are working professionals, some are still studying, hence sleeping habits vary drastically, and 8 hours of sleep might not be possible. Besides our work life, we also have to manage our personal and social lives as well, have some time for ourselves. Hence, what I have learned and observed regarding sleep through experimentation is that getting a sleep of somewhere around 6-7 is fine and would not hinder your progress at all. This is what I personally do and hence I can assure you results and you’ll just be fine with this.
I’ve always figured out that there 24 hours a day. You sleep six hours and have 18 hours left. Now, I know there are some of you out there that say well, wait a minute, I sleep eight hours or nine hours. Well, then, just sleep faster, I would recommend.
The reason I wanted to cover this topic of sleep was due to the fact that being a student, it is very hard for me like many others to find that sleep time necessary due to various other commitments be it college, personal life etc. Result, many youngsters like me just fail to realise its importance and sleep becomes the only thing that gets compromised. I know sleep is the last thing one would focus on but, this is how it is. You got to make adjustments, sacrifices to get the desired results. To be honest, some days you will get the desired amount of sleep, while some days you won’t, it happens, just try to manage sleep between things and you will be good to go. And as I always say, don’t just follow what I say, try things for yourself, see what works and learn. By the way, How much sleep did you get today?