How Does Sleep Help You Recover?

My typical day at work starts with this question to Reid: “how did you sleep last night?

Many would emphasize the importance of quality sleep, but how does it really benefit us?  Let’s review some key points which would help your athletic performance.

  1. Muscle Growth and Repair: HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE is released during sleep, which helps your tissues to repair and regenerate.  
  2. Stress: Sleep deprivation increases stress hormone, CORTISOL.  It triggers the fight or flight response, high blood pressure, anxiety and even agitation.  Cortisol is also known to suppress the immune system, and even disrupt sleep, thus it brings you down to the negative spiral.   
  3. Brain function:  Brain only uses glycogen as a fuel.  Glycogen stores in the brain are depleted during awake, and restored during sleep.  Lack of sleep leads to lack of brain fuel, which negatively affects mental clarity, memory, concentration and split second judgement.
  4. Weight regulation: It is reported that people who regularly sleep 5 hours or less show significant decrease in LEPTIN, hunger inhibiting hormone; therefore, you could consume excessive calories under the sleep-deprived state.  Chronic sleep deprivation has also shown a strong link to type II diabetes because the sleep loss resembles INSULIN resistance.  

So, you are recharging your body and mind when you go to sleep.  Go ahead and get your beauty sleep!