Your body grows and repairs during the rest phase of your workouts. Most specifically, this happens at night when you are sleeping. Let’s take a deeper dive into the benefits of getting your ZZZZZZ’s at night.
Growth hormone helps restore and rebuild body tissues and muscles. Seventy-five percent of growth hormone is released during sleep, more specifically, the deep sleep stage. We typically cycle through all of the sleep stages four to five times each night and the deep sleep cycle is present in the first 2 to 3 of those cycles. There are several things you can do to contribute to a good night’s sleep and increase the number of sleep cycles you have.
The biggest determining factor to good sleep is your routine leading up to bedtime. Sixty to ninety minutes before bedtime, you should avoid electronics like your tablet or cell phone because the blue light emitted tends to stimulate the brain making it harder to fall asleep. Activities like journaling, mild stretching, and meditation help you relax and fall asleep faster. Finally, being in a room with the lights dimmed also help the brain and body settle down and relax.
Once you head off to bed, you want to make sure the room is dark. Remember, light tends to stimulate the brain and will keep you staring at the ceiling for a while. Optimal room temperature for sleep is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Body temperature falls as it starts into sleep mode and a cooler room promotes the body cooling allowing you to fall asleep faster. Ultimately, you want to give yourself the opportunity to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
It’s time to snuggle up with a good book and then off to meet the sand man.