Healthy sleep plays a vital role in the body’s overall health, as it ensures muscle growth, recovery, and illness prevention. This is especially true for home D.I. Yers’ fitness enthusiasts, weekend warriors, athletes, and physically active individuals. When sleeping, the body goes into recovery mode, releasing hormones and other chemicals to repair and restore muscle. A healthy night’s sleep provides the rest the mind and body need to perform at optimal levels.
Sleep is vital for recovering from workouts. This could be construction work, exercise, gardening, sports, landscaping, any activity that uses bodyweight or works against some form of resistance. The muscles cannot repair themselves properly without proper sleep. Sleep aids the muscles in releasing protein-building amino acids, helping them grow in size and strength.
Sleep maintains the muscles’ sharpness, coordination, function, and muscle movement patterns that improve physical performance. The body needs to sleep for at least 7 hours a night for muscles to grow properly. Not getting healthy sleep decreases protein synthesis activity and increases the activity of degradation that leads to muscle loss.
Hormonal changes occur when the body sleeps less, causing individuals to feel hungry more often, increasing the amount of food taken in because after eating, the body does not feel full right away, so the individual continues to eat. Without sleep, the body decreases the production of a hormone that indicates when the body is full and activates a hormone that causes hunger. Insufficient sleep also lowers the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Because of this, the muscle fuel glycogen is not adequately replenished. Without the regular restoration of glycogen, individuals have less energy, insulin sensitivity decreases, increasing the risk of diabetes.
Unhealthy sleep also impacts overall physical health. Individuals that do not get healthy sleep have an increased risk of developing:
Dattilo, M et al. “Sleep and muscle recovery: endocrinological and molecular basis for a new and promising hypothesis.” Medical hypotheses vol. 77,2 (2011): 220-2. doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2011.04.017
Morselli, Lisa et al. “Role of sleep duration in the regulation of glucose metabolism and appetite.” Best practice & research. Clinical endocrinology & metabolism vol. 24,5 (2010): 687-702. doi:10.1016/j.beem.2010.07.005
Murray, Bob, and Christine Rosenbloom. “Fundamentals of glycogen metabolism for coaches and athletes.” Nutrition reviews vol. 76,4 (2018): 243-259. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuy001
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The information herein on "Healthy Sleep, Physical Activity, and Muscle Recovery" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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