And may your dreams
We want it, we need it. Not always at the best times and it’s not always forthcoming. We can struggle to achieve it. Most often shorter than we want. Often too looked at as a weakness.
I’m finishing up my posts on how you can gain muscle, strength. And in finishing up my posts, I’m writing about sleep. Very important but often neglected.
How much are you getting? Is it enough? Can you get more? As adults, we need 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Quality sleep. This is what we need to perform at our best, and to heal the damage done to our body. Don’t confuse this with what you can get by. We can get by with a lot less but that doesn’t mean we should. Because of the nature of my full time job, years ago I worked about 30 hours straight due to a catastrophic event that rendered our largest distribution centre useless. After 30 hours I was sent to a hotel to book a room to get some sleep. That didn’t last too long, I was woken by a call to my phone about 4 hours in and had to go back to work for about another 30 hours. Did I perform my job? Sure did. Optimally? Maybe but I was running on adrenaline and coffee knowing that we had trucks not delivering product to our distribution centre and also to our restaurants. I remember at times losing focus and wanting to sleep, but I couldn’t.
That’s an extreme case. But we all know that when we don’t get the sleep we need, we feel it. We aren’t the same. We don’t respond to things the same in some cases and we don’t perform as well as we could. Those are the things we notice. What about the things we don’t notice? The fact our body is not able to regenerate muscle tissue that needs to be repaired?
We sleep because, well, it feels good! But we also sleep because we need to. To let our brain process the day’s mental happenings to repairing our body.
When we don’t get the sleep we need, we limit the amount of growth hormone our body releases. This limitation negatively impacts the repairing of our muscles and bones, which impacts the growth in strength we are looking for. That’s one of the reasons and benefits of working out, right? To get stronger. Protein synthesis also happens when we sleep. Protein synthesis is the process where amino acids are linearly arranged into proteins. Again, something that helps us get stronger and grow. Seems pretty important doesn’t it. Yet we aren’t prioritizing sleep like we should be.
Some people wear the fact that they don’t sleep that much as a badge of honour. They like to flaunt that that only sleep 5 hours a night and are so busy, and don’t have time for sleep. Great. Good for you. Maybe they are one of the 3% that can get by with less than 6 hours of sleep a day. But if you aren’t one of those people, and need more sleep, who cares? I don’t. And neither should you.
You are responsible for you! No one else. Get the sleep you need and don’t feel guilty about it. Feel great about the fact that you work hard, you are building a stronger body and doing what needs to be done to build that body. And because you are getting that needed sleep you are building that body you want and you will be mentally better prepared to tell those jerks where to go.
Was it worth it?
Did you read the other 2 posts? Does it make sense? Progressive resistance, nutrition, sleep. On a high level that’s it. These are the things you can do to build the body you want. It’s not as complicated as the fitness industry makes it out to be, the industry being those people trying to sell you things, things we’ve been doing for years but they call it something else. Like kettle bells. Those aren’t new. The Russian’s were using kettle bells a hundred years ago. If doing something ‘new’ works for you then great! But don’t think you have to. As long as what you are doing incorporates these principles than you are on your way to getting the body you want. I hope so.
Yours in health,