Secrets for Better, Muscle-Building Sleep
Athletes require at least eight hours of quality sleep each night to allow for maximum recovery. Proper sleep induces the body to release Human Growth Hormone (HGH), which in turn stimulates muscle growth and strength development. In addition, a good night of sleep improves alertness, mood, energy and overall performance.
However, evidence shows that even if you are out cold for a solid eight hours, you might not experience the uninterrupted, quality sleep you need as an athlete. Any source of light or electromagnetic fields in your bedroom can disrupt your circadian rhythm, the 24-hour cycle your body operates on in terms of biochemical, physiological or behavioral processes. This disruption, which can come from any electrically-powered device, can prevent your body from releasing melatonin and other hormones that are crucial to your sleep cycle. Once the cycle is disrupted, the performance-enhancing benefits of sleep are cut drastically.
Get the most out of your sleep by ensuring your bedroom provides the best environment for disruption-free snoozing. Make sure the room is completely dark, and turn off and unplug all electrical devices such as computers, phones, TVs and even your cell phone charger. Make sure that any appliances or devices on the wall opposite your bed are unplugged as well. If you absolutely need an alarm clock or phone charger plugged in, position it as far from your bed as possible—ideally six feet or further—to ensure the best night's sleep possible.