You’re having a terrible nightmare where, every time you train, the ‘strength gains’ literally melt off you. You awake in a pool of sweat and struggle to get back to sleep through the stress of it all. It is this moment where the ‘gains’ actually start to diminish.
We become so concerned with training hard and moving toward our goals, whether they are performance, health or physique based, that at times we neglect the other side – Sleep and recovery.
Most will know that sleep is important, but how important?
In combination with this, the negative impacts from a lack of sleep are abundant;
How do you know if you’re getting enough sleep? Try these three easy questions;
The answer to these should dictate quite clearly if you’re getting enough quality sleep.
If you find yourself in the ‘poor sleep’ category, how do you fix it? Firstly, the true cause of poor sleep must be sought.
By no means am I suggesting not training hard over the short and long term. If you’ve read anything written by me, you’ll know I have a significant researcher/man-crush on Tim Gabbett and subsequently his catch-cry “train harder AND smarter”. A considerable part of training smarter is promoting adequate recovery strategies.
This is all the more important during heavy training cycles. Heavy training increases the stress on the body, which elevates cortisol levels. This can create a situation of reduced immune function. Sound familiar? It’s the same situation when you don’t have sufficient sleep, now compounded! This leaves you more likely to succumb to illness and lose valuable time training.
In short, poor sleep and inadequate recovery has the capacity to reduce long term adaptation which is arguably THE key principle of strength and conditioning. By not allowing yourself adequate recovery the body is unprepared for the next round of training, meaning you are compounding fatigue and limiting performance.
In summary… stop reading this and get some sleep if you want to maintain those sweet, sweet ‘gainz’!
(Image Credit: YLMSportScience)
Please see this directory page for further information on stress: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/stress/