Vancouver is a hyper competitive society when it comes to physical fitness. We all want to achieve an ideal muscle tone, so when the sun finally reveals itself in June, we can discard our clothes and reveal the fruits of our physical labour. Some of us dream to be billowing pillows of muscle, while the majority strive for the chiseled ‘cross-fitter’ physique. In either case, the secret to our success may not lie in our discerning diets or regimented workout schedules. The true answer to creating your desired body type is sleep.
During sleep, the body releases HGH, the human growth hormone that promotes fat breakdown and increases muscle mass. This release often takes place during your deepest sleep cycle, the first few hours spent on your mattress. In the later REM stage, your body repairs muscle tissue, restores organs and recirculates the HGH created at the start of your rest. When you interrupt your sleep or limit the time your body has to rest, these natural processes are disturbed and your body is denied the necessary hormones for growth and development.
Knowing this, can help you prioritize your time. Instead of going for a late-night run, you are probably better off getting an extra hour of sleep.
The same logic can be applied to the money you put towards fitness. Instead of spending hundreds on a personal trainer, you are far better off investing your funds in a new mattress. A new bed will limit sleep disturbances, increase your comfort and ultimately maximize your physical output.
Without sleep, time spent at the gym is wasted. Take that little nugget of truth and change your life.