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Sleep: The Best Training Routine

Stew Smith, CSCS

Sleep… How important is it to those who exercise often as well as to those who do not? Scientists have been studying sleep patterns for decades, so there is plenty of research on the importance of sleep in our daily lives. Sleep also affects performance in between workouts during high intensity training programs like military and law enforcement training. I guess the old saying – “Well Rested – Well Tested” also applies to taking Physical Fitness Tests.

The best training plans will not work if sleep and nutrition are neglected. Without adequate sleep (eight hours a night), there is not enough rest for muscle cell growth and repair. In fact, when you sleep, growth hormone is produced and protein synthesis in the muscles occurs IF you eat foods with protein during the day. For adolescents especially, sleep is critical as growth can be impaired if quality and quantity of sleep is lacking.

Lack of sleep can also affect your mood and increase hormonal stress levels which will have a negative impact on performance. Now, one night of missed sleep is not going to have many negative affects on your performance, but several days in a row or a few weeks of interupted sleep combined can lead to similar symptoms of over-training syndrome.

In the military or law enforcement professions, sleep may not occur at regular intervals and the quality may be lacking. The following list can assist in getting a good night sleep and help achieve some of the many benefits sleep produce:

Never Oversleep: You cannot catch up on lost sleep. Over sleeping (10+ hours) can change the body’s patterns and make it more difficult to fall asleep the following night.

Exercise or hard physical work: Those who work hard during the day or exercise will have an easier time falling asleep compared to those who do not.

Sleeping area should be calm: Calming music, cool climate with a humming fan or de-humidifier (seasonal) to drown out exterior noises will make the place you sleep more conducive to quality sleep. There are many sleep technology CDs on the market that have been proven to help with quality of sleep. Check out this one I have been involved with – Military Sleep Fit – coming soon to the PoliceLink.com Fitness eBook Store.

Avoid Active Evenings: If possible do not exercise 2-3 hours prior to sleep or be highly active prior to sleeping. Relaxing a few hours prior to sleep works well for naturally preparing the body for quality sleep. Avoid watching television in bed.

Recovery and growth will take a backward step in your training program if you do not prioritize sleep, so get to sleep if you want to grow bigger, faster, and stronger.


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  • Noname_max50

    HaideeTiffen

    over 4 years ago

    4 Comments

    Now this is a far more better idea. This way I can live longer! Thanks!

    Resveratrol

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    chaitanya

    over 4 years ago

    4 Comments

    fitness purpose

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    chaitanya

    over 4 years ago

    4 Comments

    fitness purpose

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 5 years ago

    I'd always heard 8 hrs a night growing up. If I want anytime with the wife and kids 8 hrs i sout of the question but now I've started hearing the 6 hrs is good enough and 6 is alittle realistic.

  • Img00871_max50

    DWIA

    over 5 years ago

    2 Comments

    Sleep? Well that is change.

  • Stang_max50

    Jedmyster

    over 5 years ago

    266 Comments

    I can't sleep, so I'm reading this article. Good read.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 5 years ago

    Sleep... gotta have it if you want to survive.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 5 years ago

    I needed this!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 5 years ago

    Excellent article

  • 539_max50

    Ladyinblue26

    over 5 years ago

    314 Comments

    Good read

  • 004_max50

    akeribear

    over 5 years ago

    2286 Comments

    The article is really good, but who has time to truely relaxe a few hours before you go to sleep? There is still only 24 hours in a day when you normally need an extra 8 hours to help your kids, cook dinner and all the other events that go on in a normal day. I am happy if I can get 5 to 6 hours of sleep a day.

  • New_pics_002_max160_max50

    Chutchinson

    over 5 years ago

    202 Comments

    great article

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 5 years ago

    good article

  • Big_bad_pig_max50

    Ironpig

    over 5 years ago

    760 Comments

    Good ideas Stew but I disagree in part on not being able to catch up on your sleep. Granted if you only got 5 a night instead of your regular 8 for 3 days than you shouldn't sleep any extra 9 hours but if you run it to 9 hours or so in stead of your normal 8 it will balance out better. 'Course that's jmo. Thanks again for pointing out how important sleep is for everyone.

  • Images_max50

    markovsky

    over 5 years ago

    14 Comments

    Good advice, good advice I feel like falling asleep.

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