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Optimal Sleep = Optimal Gains
You probably aren’t getting the best gains possible if you aren’t getting enough sleep. Read this post – it’s critically important for your physique! It includes info on growth hormone release and muscle tissue growth.
I’ve said a gazillion times that we don’t grow in the gym. We grow when we rest. We simply stimulate the growth process to begin by lifting weights in the gym. (And the best way to stimulate that growth is with free T.H.T. training).
And the best rest is sleep. We go through cycles as we sleep. and each cycle contains 4 stages…
STAGE 1: Your first 10 minutes. Your breathing and heart rate slow. You might even get the “hypnic jerks” – I do lol.
STAGE 2: This is when your blood pressure slows and metabolic functions slow, also.
The body starts to release more Human Growth Hormone (HGH).
STAGE 3: After about 45 minutes, “delta” sleep kicks in. Brain waves slow and you are not easily awakened by noises.
More Growth Hormone is released. Blood flow to muscles is increased. Repair and growth is well under way!
Stage 1, 2 and 3 are non-REM sleep i.e. Non Rapid Eye Movement (NREM)
STAGE 4: The deepest stage of sleep. Dreams (sometimes crazy dreams) can happen and there is rapid eye movement (REM). Usually kicks in after 90 minutes of sleep.
More oxygen is supplied to the muscles to break down lactic acid build-up. The microtears in the muscle tissue are repaired.
These 4 stages cycle over and over – the REM stage getting a little longer each time.Click here to see what happens to your muscles during 8rs sleep Click To Tweet
So now we know what is happening to our muscles during sleep, there’s 2 key points:
- Are you getting enough sleep? 7-8hrs
- Are you sleeping right through the night with no interruptions?
For max gains, you’ll also want to eat right before going to sleep to make sure your body has all the nutrients it needs to fuel growth all through the night.
P.S. I have a short guide for you that will tell you exactly how to eat before bed. Just input your details below. You don’t need to go to your email, the info you require will appear immediately. Enjoy!
Thanks! Here's what you wanted. Enjoy...
I have to admit I wake once per night. Usually 3-4am. It’s annoying, but I’ve gotten used to it over the years.
Do you experience this? If you’ve any tips for a great night’s sleep, let me know below.
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I can’t get 8hrs. Never 🙁
Look at the Bulletproof sleep “hack.” It’s the deepest sleep I’ve ever had. The idea is to get a bit of protein and collagen and MCT oil a half-hour before bedtime.
It can be as easy as a tablespoon of hydrolyzed collagen and a tablespoon of MCT oil in a cup of warm broth. (Use a powered whisk to stir, unless you want the MCT oil floating on top.)
Great post! Always good information. Keep up the good work!
I can’t sleep through the night either.
@Steve. Interesting. How long have you used this?
@Steve Marks. Yeah it sucks. Even if I have no liquids before bed, I’m up at 3 or 4 needing to go to the bathroom lol.
Off and on for a couple years. I stopped when I was taking care of my mom after a couple of mini-strokes- she tended to get up and wander in the night, and I was afraid I wouldn’t hear her and wake up.
I normally sleep pretty well for 6 to 6 1/2 hours, so I haven’t started back up. Now I want to experiment again. 🙂
@Steve. You’re a good man, buddy. Thumbs up 🙂
I’ve found that hydrating before bed is a two edged sword. My sleep is DEFINITELY deeper when I’ve been hydrating about 2 hours before going to bed. Obviously, the other side is bladder pressure waking me up in the middle of night, but I do seem to get back to sleep quicker.
@TheCHISportsFan. I just can’t have liquid before bed. Solid food meal for me. Even then, I wake up. If I do have even a glass of water, I’m awake at least twice. So that’s off limits for me. Definitely annoying.
Peanut butter not too much,then I actually practice visualizing technique ,from my toes all the way up to my head every muscle relaxing ,but I don’t tiny flex first ,then I see the muscle relax,I do every muscle ,and see it to relax state …Eyes always closed nice deep breaths ,works Everytime I do it sleep for 8/10.. otherwise I’m a six hour kinda guy … ..Try it see if it works for you.
@Kevin. Sounds like a relaxing meditation technique. I’m sure would help many fall asleep.
I don’t have much of an issue falling asleep. It’s staying asleep that is difficult.
Melatonin supps work for me. It works well and puts me in a deep sleep, although I can’t get 8 hours all the time the sleep that I do get is quality and have loads of dreams on the stuff. Research it and see what I mean. It’s non addictive and very cheap!!
You said in your email, ” I always wake up at 3.00am” . Powerful words And that is what the universe delivers to you.
Try thinking differently ” I am sleeping solidly through the night” but believe it. Repeat it as you drift off to sleep.
You are what you think all day, guard those thoughts!! And eat??
On another note I asked a question on your 1on1 training program but did not get any reply I looked the best ever after TSPA but where to next ?
@Jason. Whereabouts do you get it, bud?
@Roland. Thanks for that, buddy 🙂
I think I may have missed your email. The way to do that is to use the contact form at the bottom of this page https://markmcmanus.uk/
Hope that helps 🙂
Try cherry Active cherry juice. I have sleep properly in years. One shot of that before bed and I slept for nearly 9 hours. Helps release a sleep hormone better than taking melatonin supplements Which can sometime leave u feeling drowsy I u don’t dose correctly
Interesting article, coming right at a time when I’m pretty sure I haven’t slept in two days. I always sleep pretty badly, and suffer on and off periods of pure insomnia where I’m pretty much certain I didn’t actually fall asleep the whole night – tonight being the second in a row of those. It sucks, not just for failing to grow, but means I’m screwed for any workout the next day/s. Can’t find anything about this bulletproof sleep, but I’ve tried everything – the only thing that works for me is sleeping pills. Even worse, weight training tends to trigger it, even if I don’t do it anywhere near bed time.
I concur with Jason. I’d start with 3mg of Melatonin about 20-30 minutes before bedtime. It’s a naturally occurring hormone that diminishes as we get older. You can get it at most supplement stores, on Amazon, or other online shops. I too, still get up to go to the bathroom, but I feel much more rested throughout the day. I wouldn’t recommend the 10mg dose. It gave me nightmares. The particular brand I take is Spring Valley, but you can find the 3mg tablets in several different brands.
There are other health benefits to taking Melatonin too. It’s definitely worth reading about.
Two things have improved my sleep recently: 1) eating some fat free greek yogurt about 30 mins before bed and 2) using a pair of soft foam earplugs. I do still wake up most nights between 3 and 4 for a pitstop though.
Off-topic but is it possible to measure the peak overcompensation point? E.g. after training, measure arm size every day and when it stops increasing time to train again?
I take my zinc capsule & Magnesium (Or ZMA) late in the evening Mark, with a green tea or camomile. Camomile helps me sleep although I prefer the green with Jasmine, but I’m sure that doesn’t help me sleep.
@Stu. Thanks for the suggestion!
@Steve. I feel for you, man. Nights of no sleep are terrible. And really affect your mood. I hope you find a solution 🙂
@Irl Dement. Thanks for the suggestion 🙂
@Fred. Thankfully I don’t have an issue with noise. I have rarely ever used those earplugs.
@Darrin. The ZMA might help. I couldn’t have the tea, any liquid at night would have me up for the toilet 2 or 3 times. Seriously lol.
@Kevin. Size gains are going to be too small from any 1 workout to measure a difference. So strength gains are key to measuring POP. Instructions here: https://musclehack.com/how-to-know-if-you-are-really-building-muscle/
Just google it bud, you will find it online, even amazon sells it.