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How does lack of sleep impact recovery?

Updated: Apr 2

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Have you ever exercised and failed to sleep enough that night? You might think that this isn't a big deal as you can 'function just fine'. However, this is not the case. You might feel 'okay' after your morning coffee but this doesn't mean that your body is fine. You will hear stories of famous athletes competing at the very top on a mere 6 hours of sleep and think that you can do the same, that's statistically unlikely.


In this article, I am going to delve into the necessity of sleep in the recovery process and what measures you can implement in order to maximise your potential.


The facts


  • Sleeping improves hormone balance and mental stability.

  • If you sleep before 12 AM, you scientifically sleep better.

  • Fresh air and cooler temperatures improve sleep quality.

  • During non-REM sleep, human growth hormone (HGH) is secreted to aid muscle recovery and growth.

  • Sleep improves reaction times by at least 5%.

  • You are 2.5X more likely to sustain an injury on 5 and a half hours sleep or less whilst also producing 60% less muscle mass overall.

  • 8 and a half hours of sleep allows for 40% more muscle mass gains.


Related: Download our PDF factsheet on sleeping statistics here!


Struggle to sleep?


It is estimated that around 70 million Americans (1 in 5) suffer from sleeping disorders, this is huge! If you need help sleeping in order to unlock your potential, or just to feel better, read on!


  • Go to bed at consistent times before 12 AM.

  • Don't drink coffee after 12 PM.

  • No devices at least an hour before.

  • No intense exercise 2 hours before bed.

  • Get up 8 hours after falling asleep, this will help adjust your body clock.


Related: 10 top tips to fall asleep faster!


The Takeaway


If you're not convinced, how about this infographic? If you're serious about your fitness and wellbeing, sleep should be a top priority along with nutrition and training. If these three cornerstones are in check, the sky is the limit!

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