Are any of these sleeping habits killing your gains?
Jeff from Athlean X explains what you should be looking out for.
Sleeping Habits Killing your Gains
“The way you sleep can have a direct impact on the muscle gains you will ultimately see from your workouts. I’m going to show you how 8 popular sleeping habits are possibly interfering with your ability to build muscle and remain injury free. Don’t be embarrassed if you wind up finding out that you are doing at least a few of these. The important thing is that I’m here to help.”
- Sleeping Habits Killing your Gains
- Sleeping Habits Killing your Gains – Stretching
- Sleeping Habits Killing your Gains – The Tightness of the Sheets
- Sleeping Habits Killing your Gains – Avoid Bad Sleeping Postures
- The Best Sleeping Postures
- Sleeping Habits Killing your Gains – Get Hydrated
- Video – Sleeping Habits Killing your Gains
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- Benefits of Sleeping
- Sleep Improves Memory
- Sleep Boosts Creativity
- Sleeping Less than 7 hours may lead to weight gain.
- Sleep Can Reduce Stress
- Sleep helps in healing and repair of heart and blood vessels
- Sleeping helps regulate Blood Pressure
- Sleep helps to reduce Inflammation
- Sleeping boosts immune system
- It is very important to have enough sleep to keep our body healthy and function properly
Sleeping Habits Killing your Gains – Stretching
“The first thing that you want to do before you even get into bed is stretch. Now I’m sure you’ve heard that it is not good to do static stretching before working out but do you know why? The reason is twofold. When you stretch before lifting you are interrupting the stored motor patterns that your body has to make movement efficient and memorable. This means, with the new muscle length provided by the stretching your bench press movement will not match up with the one that is stored. This leads to awkward pressing and an increase likelihood of injury.”
“The second thing that occurs is that the increased length disrupts the overlap of muscle fibres and interferes with the strength of contraction. If this happens, you can expect to see a decline in your strength levels and force output at the exact worst time that you would want that to happen, just before your workout.”
Sleeping Habits Killing your Gains – The Tightness of the Sheets
“Next, you want to be sure you adjust the sheets at the end of the bed before you even get in it. Why? This is because the tightness of your sheets will directly impact the tightness of your ankles in the long run. When you lay in bed your ankles will be pulled down into plantarflexion because of the sheets that are tucked in to the end of your bed. If you stay in this position for say 8 to 10 hours, you can guarantee that your calves will get tight and your ankle will lose mobility over time. Try squatting with bad ankle mobility and you will quickly see your leg gains go down as you no longer can descend low enough in the squat.”
Sleeping Habits Killing your Gains – Avoid Bad Sleeping Postures
“The health of your shoulders is paramount to a big upper body. Just ask anyone who has ever injured their shoulder what it meant to their ability to lift and make gains in their chest, arms and back not to mention their delts. The key is to limit the tightness that is likely to happen just by avoiding common but bad sleeping postures.”
“If you lay on your side with your hand under your head, make sure you don’t do this on top of the pillow. You can see instantly how this internally rotates your shoulder and leads to tight posterior shoulder capsules. If you place the hand under the pillow however you can dramatically change the situation and actually help to restore some lost external rotation.”
“The same can happen when you lay on your stomach. Your arms get internally rotated at the shoulder to support your head on the pillow. Even worse however, your low back takes a beating as you compress your lumbar spine and adaptively shorten your lumber paraspinal muscles. This leads to the all too common low back pain.”
The Best Sleeping Postures
“The best way to sleep is either on your back with the sheets loosened at the end of the bed or on your side with your legs straight and a pillow between your knees. Either way, you are minimizing the damage that you are doing to your body for extensive periods of time every night and giving your body a better chance of making pain free gains in the gym.”
Sleeping Habits Killing your Gains – Get Hydrated
“Finally, upon waking make sure you immediately start the rehydration process by drinking two 12-16 ounce glasses of water. You have just gone a long period of time without drinking any water so you will want to get this in you to provide the environment for muscle gains. And of course, never underestimate the value of good sleep.”
“Cortisol will be released by your body the less sleep you get. This will directly counteract the benefits of testosterone and lead to less muscle. Sleep as much as you can.”
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Benefits of Sleeping
We all know that sleep is important, but few of us understand the many health and wellness benefits of getting at least seven hours of sleep each night. In this section of the article, we’ll take a look at the many ways that a good night’s rest can improve your life—and how to get better sleep if you’re not already getting enough.
Sleep Improves Memory
Sleep helps in consolidation of memory. The process of consolidation is the process by which recently formed memories are transferred from a short-term store to a more permanent store. Sleep appears to be important for this process, especially during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep.
Sleep helps in strengthening of memory. Sleep not only consolidates information but it also strengthens some types of memories while weakening others, making them easier to access later on when you need them.
Sleep Boosts Creativity
Sleep helps the brain process information and make connections. The hippocampus is a part of our brain that is responsible for memory, so it makes sense that when we’re not getting enough sleep, our brains don’t work as well. When you are tired and stressed out, your mental functions suffer as well.
Sleep helps us improve our memory by allowing us to make connections between new information we have learned and existing memories stored in the hippocampus. We also process memories when we’re asleep – if you’ve ever had a dream about something that happened recently, then you know how important sleep can be for remembering things.
Research has shown that sleeping helps people make decisions faster and more accurately than if they were awake; this might be because during REM cycles (dreaming stages) there are heightened levels of norepinephrine (a neurotransmitter) which results in increased alertness.
This could explain why some people wake up at night with solutions to problems they’ve been struggling with during the day; maybe they were just dreaming about them.
Sleeping Less than 7 hours may lead to weight gain.
You may have heard that sleeping less than seven hours a night can cause obesity. This is because sleep deprivation can lead to increased appetite and hunger hormones, increased insulin resistance, and increased body fat.
Sleep deprivation can also increase the risk for binge eating. It has also been shown to increase cortisol levels which can lead to weight gain in people who are already overweight or obese as well as increase inflammation in the body.
Cortisol is a hormone that your body releases when you are stressed out or experiencing anxiety. It helps with blood pressure regulation, immune system function, and digestion among other things.
The problem occurs when you start producing too much cortisol which leads to high blood pressure, insulin resistance (which causes weight gain) and increased belly fat storage.
Sleep Can Reduce Stress
Sleep is incredibly important for your health. It helps you deal with stress, which is a major factor in many health problems. In fact, sleeping well can actually help reduce your stress and make it easier to handle the next day.
Sleep can also improve memory and moods. When we sleep, our brain processes all the information we received during the day and consolidates it into long-term memories. Sleep deprivation or inadequate sleep can cause people to have poor cognitive function as well as mood disorders such as depression or anxiety.
Sleep helps in healing and repair of heart and blood vessels
Have you ever woken up after a good night’s sleep and noticed that your skin looks brighter, your eyes are clear and your hair is shinier? If so, it’s not just in your head. Sleep helps in healing and repair of heart and blood vessels as well.
Sleep can also help reduce stress levels because during sleep, the body releases hormones that calm down the nervous system. Stress affects how we feel physically as much as mentally because our bodies react to stressful situations by releasing adrenaline into the bloodstream. This causes our heart rate to increase while blood pressure rises too—both of which can be harmful over time if they’re allowed to continue unchecked throughout the day.
Sleeping helps regulate Blood Pressure
Did you know that sleep deprivation can lead to high blood pressure? Studies have shown that those who get insufficient sleep are more likely to develop high blood pressure. Sleep helps regulate your body’s blood pressure, so getting enough quality sleep is important for maintaining a healthy heart and lowering your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Sleep helps lower blood pressure by allowing the kidneys to filter excess salt out of the body during deep sleep stages, thus reducing swelling in the body which contributes to hypertension. The hormones released during deep sleep also slow down the heart rate, allowing it time for rest and relaxation before it starts up again in order to start another day.
Accordingly, how much time should we spend on sleeping? Research shows that 7-8 hours of quality rest each night will help keep your heart healthy while improving overall wellbeing as well as mood stability throughout each day.
Sleep helps to reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or infection. It causes redness, swelling, warmth and pain in the affected area. Inflammation is important for healing injuries and infections because it helps the body remove dead tissue and repair damaged skin.
However, if you have chronic inflammation (such as arthritis), it can be difficult to manage your symptoms because you may not even know what’s causing them. Some people believe that sleep deprivation may cause chronic inflammation since lack of rest can increase stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol which trigger an immune response within cells throughout your body—including those in your joints.
Sleeping boosts immune system
There is a lot of evidence that sleeping improves immune system function. The immune system is responsible for protecting the body against viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites and cancer.
In one study on mice, researchers found that when they were deprived of sleep they had trouble fighting off the flu virus. The study authors concluded that “the results from this study demonstrate an important role for sleep in mounting an effective defense against viral infection.” In another rodent study involving mice with tumors implanted in their bodies (a form of cancer), it was found that sleeping helped ward off tumor growth by activating natural killer cells which attack cancer cells as well as viruses and other harmful invaders.
It’s easy to see why people might think a lack of sleep would make them more vulnerable to disease: If you don’t get enough restful slumber then your immune system won’t function at its best – making you more susceptible to getting sick!
It is very important to have enough sleep to keep our body healthy and function properly
Sleep is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle. It is very important to have enough sleep to keep our body healthy and function properly. Sleep helps our body recover from the day, so we can be more productive and feel better during the next day. Sleep also helps us to be happier
When you don’t get enough sleep, your brain doesn’t work as well as it should; this could lead to poor memory or even depression! You might not feel like yourself if you are not getting enough sleep either because life just doesn’t seem as fun when you’re tired all of the time
We all know how important sleep is for our health, but it can be easy to forget that when we’re so busy with work and other responsibilities.
There are many different reasons why it’s important to get enough sleep every night, whether it’s helping regulate your blood pressure or reducing inflammation in your body. If you don’t feel like you’re getting enough hours of rest each night then try some natural remedies like meditation, stretching or yoga before bedtime to help improve sleep quality.
- athletes on rower: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.