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Monday, March 14, 2016

Sleep is the Best Anabolic!

Why do you think babies grow so fast and sleep so much?

Recently I read two articles online written by Charles Poliquin entitled "Six Secrets to Gaining Muscle" and "The Top Five Habits of Successful Lifters." One thing I found common between the articles was the emphasis put on the importance of rest and a good sleeping habits. Poliquin in one of his articles says- "Take a power nap. Napping is also good for grownups! The more naps I took, the more I grew. Robert Kennedy, who owns several popular muscle magazines, is also a big proponent of napping for muscle growth. A good nap should be 20 to 60 minutes, no longer; otherwise you will become too groggy. Whenever I teach in Sweden at the Eleiko Education Center, I always tend to gain mass back very easily because there I found the perfect hiding place to take a nap after lunch. My gift is that I’m the type of guy who can nap anywhere – on a clothesline, at a busy shooting range or in a newborn nursery; no amount of noise or postural discomfort will prevent me from sleeping. So nap as often as possible and GROW!" In the other article he says- "Recently I had dinner with Ed Coan, a legendary world powerlifting champion who set the bar, literally, for his peers. How good was he? He became world powerlifting champion at age 21 in the 181-pound bodyweight division, winning by 138 pounds. In 1991, at 220, he totaled 2,402 (962 squat, 545 bench, 901 deadlift), and to this day his deadlift record has yet to be beat. When lifters faced Ed Coan, the only questions asked were what record he would break and who would take second. While magazine interviews with such champions often focus on the athletes’ intensity level, the secret that Ed shared with me concerns the exact opposite. Coan says that one of the crucial parts of his training was plenty of rest, including a daily nap. He didn’t offer any peer-reviewed scientific papers to support his contention – although interesting theories are being presented about the value of a daily siesta; it was only common sense: “You don’t recover, you don’t grow!” In an article written by Brent Vleck about muscle growth and sleep he said that The number one reason sleep is important is because Growth Hormone (HGH) rises during deep sleep, which often begins about 30-45 minutes after falling asleep. There are many ways to improve sleep and it changes from person to person. I also remember reading on Charles Poliquin's site explaining how we are made to sleep in cave like places just like our caveman ancestors did. We should make our bedrooms like a cave meaning dark, quiet and secluded. The mayoclinic online gives us these ten tips-
1. Go to bed and get up at about the same time every day, even on the weekends. Sticking to a schedule helps reinforce your body's sleep-wake cycle and can help you fall asleep more easily at night.
2. Don't eat or drink large amounts before bedtime. Eat a light dinner at least two hours before sleeping. If you're prone to heartburn, avoid spicy or fatty foods, which can make your heartburn flare and prevent a restful sleep. Also, limit how much you drink before bed. Too much liquid can cause you to wake up repeatedly during the night for trips to the toilet.
3. Avoid nicotine, caffeine and alcohol in the evening. These are stimulants that can keep you awake. Smokers often experience withdrawal symptoms at night, and smoking in bed is dangerous. Avoid caffeine for eight hours before your planned bedtime. Your body doesn't store caffeine, but it takes many hours to eliminate the stimulant and its effects. And although often believed to be a sedative, alcohol actually disrupts sleep.
4. Exercise regularly. Regular physical activity, especially aerobic exercise, can help you fall asleep faster and make your sleep more restful. However, for some people, exercising right before bed may make getting to sleep more difficult.
5. Make your bedroom cool, dark, quiet and comfortable. Create a room that's ideal for sleeping. Adjust the lighting, temperature, humidity and noise level to your preferences. Use blackout curtains, eye covers, earplugs, extra blankets, a fan or white-noise generator, a humidifier or other devices to create an environment that suits your needs.
6. Sleep primarily at night. Daytime naps may steal hours from nighttime slumber. Limit daytime sleep to about a half-hour and make it during midafternoon. If you work nights, keep your window coverings closed so that sunlight, which adjusts the body's internal clock, doesn't interrupt your sleep. If you have a day job and sleep at night, but still have trouble waking up, leave the window coverings open and let the sunlight help awaken you.
7. Choose a comfortable mattress and pillow. Features of a good bed are subjective and differ for each person. But make sure you have a bed that's comfortable. If you share your bed, make sure there's enough room for two. Children and pets are often disruptive, so you may need to set limits on how often they sleep in bed with you.
8. Start a relaxing bedtime routine. Do the same things each night to tell your body it's time to wind down. This may include taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book, or listening to soothing music. Relaxing activities done with lowered lights can help ease the transition between wakefulness and sleepiness.
9. Go to bed when you're tired and turn out the lights. If you don't fall asleep within 15 to 20 minutes, get up and do something else. Go back to bed when you're tired. Don't agonize over falling asleep. The stress will only prevent sleep.
10. Use sleeping pills only as a last resort. Check with your doctor before taking any sleep medications. He or she can make sure the pills won't interact with your other medications or with an existing medical condition. Your doctor can also help you determine the best dosage. If you do take a sleep medication, reduce the dosage gradually when you want to quit, and never mix alcohol and sleeping pills. If you feel sleepy or dizzy during the day, talk to your doctor about changing the dosage or discontinuing the pills.

Hope this helps! Have a good nights rest!

Sleep can make the difference between making it and almost.


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