Your body naturally needs sleep no matter who you are or what you’re doing. Fitness aside, a lack of sleep, or sleep deprivation, can cause you all kinds of health problems. Mildly, from yawning, aches and decreased reaction times to more severe symptoms such as memory lapses and hallucinations. That said, something which people have to do has never been so important in the world of fitness. Even your pets shut off for the night so what’s the difference now for bodybuilders?
From the gym, everybody from those slightly keen on improving their fitness, to bodybuilders and avid gym goers are constantly looking out for new ways of improving and reaching their goals. This can be anything from mixing up a workout to changing a diet but the 6-8 hours of rest and recuperation is actually fundamental to help you make serious progress.
Apart from allowing your body to rest and recuperate, sleep offers a wide range of other health benefits such as mental alertness, repairing muscles and, obviously, recharging the brain cells. Within men, human growth hormone (HGH) is released during sleep. 60-70% of overall daily growth hormone is released and is done so during sleep. However, eating before you go to sleep can reverse this process and increase protein synthesis.
Sleeping can also help reduce your stress levels, fight off infections and help improve your overall weight management. Having a bad night’s sleep can increase your risks of developing conditions such as heart disease, dementia and other mental health issues.
Do you sleep enough?
It’s often difficult to sleep enough, even when we do go to sleep, the quality and the amount of sleep we have may not be enough. Adults, fitness professionals and bodybuilders alike are recommended to have between 6 and 8 hours of sleep per night, so how can you make sure you get this?
#1 – Don’t oversleep
Oversleeping can adjust your body clock (similar effects to jetlag), this can make sleeping a little harder, especially when you need to wake at certain times.
#2 – Hit the cardio
Cardio and other aerobic exercises will tire you out (like I needed to tell you). Along with intense training sessions, physically tiring yourself out during your workout will improve your overall sleep quality.
#3 – Avoid caffeine or alcohol
Alcohol is the obvious one, as your sleep will be significantly disrupted by hitting the booze. You should wherever possible limit caffeine. Coffee and pre-workout, as beneficial as they are, can disrupt sleep if taken late at night.
#4 – Put down the sleeping pills
In the interim, sleeping pills can aid your overall sleep quality but over a long-term period, this begins to disrupt your sleep. Wherever possible, avoid taking sleeping pills.
#5 – Put down your phone
Obviously… This also counts for your tv too. Yes, relaxing is important on an evening and not overfilling your time with stressful affairs but your brain will refuse to sleep should you play on your phone or watch tv immediately before bed.
Switch off 30 minutes before going to sleep!
#6 – Understand your lifestyle
Are you a night owl? Do you have to wake up early for work? Utilise your lifestyle to adapt your body clock to suit your needs to ensure you get that 6-8 hour night.
ZMA: The Secret To Sleeping
ZMA is a unique combination of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 which has a number of different benefits to the body, leading it to be a highly popular product with gym goers, fitness fans and bodybuilders but what are the benefits, leading this to be highly conventional sports supplement?
ZMA naturally promotes sleep, supports healthy testosterone levels and improves overall recovery.
Magnesium contributes to the electrolyte balance and the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth, the normal functioning of the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. From a general health point of view, zinc contributes to aiding the immune system, macro metabolism, vision and maintenance of skin, hair and nails. Vitamin B6 adds to the mix by contributing to normal protein and glycogen metabolism, the normal function of the immune system, and to a normal energy-yielding metabolism.
The unique combination of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 means ZMA is a worthwhile addition to any supplement regime, whatever your fitness ambitions.
When should you take ZMA?
To get the maximum benefits, we recommend taking two capsules daily, preferably on an empty stomach, 30-60 minutes before bedtime.