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If Your Muscles Aren't Growing, It's Because You Aren't Sleeping

There has been a land rush of scientific activity on the subject of sleep science lately. And all of the eggheads out there who have been obsessed with how and why the human body sleeps have discovered some very interesting things. You might be asking yourself why we're taking time to talk about sleep on a website that is dedicated to getting help building muscles - after all, it's right there in the name: GetMuscleHelp.com! Well, as it turns out, there is a very important connection between sleep and developing an optimal, muscular physique. If you're ready to take your bodybuilding game to the next level, you're going to want to keep reading so that you can learn all about that important connection.

Sleep and Recovery After a Hard Workout

Sleep Muscles

Sleep is when the body restores and reconstructs itself and heals injuries - including all of the micro-tears that lifting weights does to your muscles. You obviously want that damage to occur so that your body has a reason to build your muscles back up bigger and stronger. But if you aren't sleeping right, this can't happen. And there are a few reasons why this is the case.

When you sleep, your body's ability to synthesize and produce new hormones goes into overdrive. It's a complicated, multi-step process to go from good sleep to bigger, stronger muscles, but we'll try and simplify here as best we can. When you get good sleep, your body produces way more testosterone. The more testosterone you produce, the more human growth hormone you produce. Producing more HGH goes on to produce more of a hormone called IGF-1. IGF-1, to make a long story short, is responsible for telling your body to shove as much glycogen and other nutrients into your muscles as it can handle. When your muscles are bursting at the seams with these nutrients, you synthesize more protein faster and recover more quickly from your workouts.

But if you don't get good sleep, the muscle building process happens at a much slower, less significant rate. It may not happen at all if you are very unhealthy and this is your first time visiting GetMuscleHelp.com. And that's why we're glad you're here - to help you get the sleep you need so you can get the muscles and the body you want.

You Won't Build Muscle If Your Sleep Quality Sucks

You could be missing out on some serious gains if you aren't paying attention to the quality of sleep that you're getting. It isn't enough to lay in bed for 8 hours and literally dream about cultivating the physique you've always wanted; you're unconscious hours must consist of healthy, full sleep cycles that go from light sleep to deep sleep to REM sleep over and over again throughout the night. If you're spending too much time in one particular stage of your sleep cycle or too little in others, it'll set off a domino effect physiological processes which handicap or even inhibit muscle growth.

Tweak Your Routine for Optimal Muscle Building While You Sleep

Timing is everything. Your daily wake/sleep cycle is called the circadian rhythm for a reason. If you aren't doing the right things at the best possible point in the day, you are either going to hurt or hinder your body's ability to sleep well at night. With that in mind, you should augment the following habits to the best of your ability:

  • Stop drinking in the evening. No, we're not encouraging you to become day-drinking alcoholics. But the less alcohol you consume in general, the better. And the further away you consume that alcohol from your bedtime, that's also better. Alcohol disturbs your sleep in many different ways, throwing a wrench in your nightly sleep cycle and drastically reducing your body's ability to produce testosterone and growth hormone.
  • Get your caffeine intake under control. This may take a little time and experimentation on your part, but it's worth it if it improves your sleep. First, find out what the minimum amount of caffeine is that you need to get going in the morning and stick to that limit. Next, try your hardest not to consume a single drop of caffeine after noon. We know there's a lot of you out there who like to take caffeine before a workout, and not all of you have the chance to work out in the morning. If you're having trouble sleeping, you might want to experiment with leaving the coffee or the pre-workout at home. It's up to you to decide whether the caffeine-induced energy boost for your afternoon workout is worth tossing and turning all night while shrinking your gains.
  • Working out before bed is a no-no. Anything which stimulates an excitatory response from your nervous system within 2 hours of bedtime is bad for sleep. But we're mostly talking to you night owls who, either by preference or by necessity, like to pump your iron after the sun goes down. You could be doing more harm than good and disrupting your nightly sleep cycle by trying to go to bed while you are still in a neurologically aroused state. Try and create a minimum of a 2-hour buffer between your last set and your head hitting the pillow.

Bodybuilding Supplements Can Work Well With Your Sleep Cycle

We here at GetMuscleHelp want you to be the manliest man you can be. And you can't be that kind of man without muscle. As it turns out, you can't be that man without getting good sleep, either. Instead of trying to jack up your workouts with pre-workout formulas or coffee, try something like Ultra Edge XL instead. It contains all of the nutrients you need to power through your workouts and build more muscle during the day. Those nutrients will linger in your system and, if you follow the advice we've given so far, will exponentially increase your ability to continue building muscle at night. So good luck, sweet dreams, and happy lifting!