Workout Tips

6 Sleep Tips For Weightlifters

Sleep is essential for muscle repair and mass gain. Try these 6 sleep tips for bodybuilders to get a better night's rest.

#1. Don’t Exercise Too Close to Bedtime

Yes, exercise can help you fall asleep and achieve better sleep quality. But hitting the weights too close to bedtime can elevate your body temperature and leave your mind too wired to drift off. We know you’re busy and have to squeeze in workouts whenever you have time, but look to end your exercise sessions about three to four hours before you turn in for the night if insomnia has become a problem. That should give your body temperature adequate time to cool down.

#2. Cut Out the P.M. Booze

Your overall beer and booze intake is (hopefully) already limited because you know alcohol hinders muscle growth and lowers testosterone. Thing is, a nightcap can also disrupt sleep cycles. “Alcohol can mess with your circadian rhythm [our preprogrammed sleep/wake cycle] and dehydrate you,” Stoler says. And as your body metabolizes the alcohol, it might wake you more during the night and cause you to feel less rested in the morning.

#3. Turn Electronic Devices Off

An Ohio State University study using hamsters found that four weeks of exposure to artificial light—the kind that stems from smartphones, laptops, tablets, and television screens—left the furballs more lethargic and depressed than hamsters* that slept in total darkness. One reason could be that the light exposure suppresses the natural release of melatonin, a hormone that helps the body maintain its circadian rhythm. Shut down light-emitting devices about 30 minutes before bed. Our recommendation: Read. We know an excellent fitness magazine you can sift through.

(*No need to worry about the depressed hamsters; they went back to their giddy selves shortly after the artificial lights were removed.)

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