Friday, March 6, 2015

Back to Fitness Basics: Health Benefits of Greater Sleep

How is your health journey going so far? By this point you have been “lifting more” and “shopping healthier” to improve your overall health. If you have done these things, great! If you have not, please visit my previous blogs. This weeks blog will be about how catching more zzz’s can help you lose weight and gain lean muscle mass. 
How much sleep do you get a night? Do you ever feel like you simply do not get enough sleep at night? On average, “adults aged 18-64 need 7-9 hours of sleep a night.”1 Sleep can do amazing things for your health, but most Americans simply do not get enough sleep each night. To sum up the importance of sleep is to think of it as the time your body repairs itself and morphs you into the healthier version that you are working to be.The health improvements you have made to this point, with your increased resistance exercise and improved diet, need time to make their effect in your sleep with your GH’s.
When we sleep and go into our REM cycle, within the 1st hour we will release our own natural Human Growth Hormone (HGH) that is very vital in our health development. “Growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland — a pea-sized structure at the base of the brain — to fuel childhood growth and help maintain tissues and organs throughout life.”2. This miracle hormone is vital to your health goals because it puts to use the work you have put in to your improved diet and exercise by simply building that dream body in your sleep.
HGH does something no other weight loss regimen does - it actually recontours the body, melting away fat and building muscle. In many cases, people look like they've shed years away with the fat. Even better, the greatest loss occurs in the deep belly fat, the area that is not only the bane of aging men and women but is most often associated with increased risk of heart attack.”3.
So here is the next challenge in your health journey. Get 7-9 hours of sleep a night to go along with your improved diet and exercise. This extra sleep will help you tremendously by allowing your body to repair itself. Eat well, lift well, sleep well.

1.How Much Sleep Do We Really Need? (n.d.). Retrieved March 1, 2015, from,1/

3.HGH Benefits. (n.d.). Retrieved March 1, 2015, from

1 comment:

  1. I never realized that HGH took effect in REM cycle sleeping. There's many times I don't have energy or strength the day after a hard workout and inadequate sleep. You really do need 7-9 hours to recover from the day. I notice that I feel a difference between the nights I have to stay up and get 5 or 6 hours of sleep compared to the nights I get a full 8 hours. It would be a cool idea to set up a survey at the rec to see if anyone else notices the difference between their workouts after a full night's sleep versus not enough sleep. It would also be a cool incentive to have these people take a "sleep challenge" to get them into better sleeping habits.