Sleep and sport

Sleep and sport

In his novel Brave New World (1932), Aldous Huxley illustrated the hypnopedia- i.e. education during sleep – techniques, which were there used to condition the population. That magic status which sleep is has always fascinated the human beings and triggered countless fantasies in any time and culture. 80 years after Huxley, the studies of Northwestern University (Illinois) keep awake the fantasy that you can learn while sleeping.

Yet, during sleep you can train…

If it is well known that sport helps rest, as it is also maintained by the National Sleep Foundation, and that regular training helps sleep better, not everybody knows that the relationship can also be the other way round: sleeping itself is somehow training and the effect of training is complemented by good sleep.

Physical fitting is the result of a mix of factors that may be considered as parts of the same a jigsaw puzzle; physical fitness is obtained through effort, perseverance, appropriate food and regularity, but also through sleep.

Sleeping helps the organism build the muscles mainly as related to the mass (the protein synthesis increases and allows for muscular growth), but the optimum results are achieved not by fasting, but –  instead – by taking small meals, which are easily assimilated: fasting literally consumes the muscles and – furthermore – the exploitation of the minerals fosters bad sleep.

The appropriate harmony of lifestyle, food, nutrition and sleep shall therefore provide the best results as related to both  sport and fitness. The most overlooked aspect of this virtuous sequence is sleep. This is a mistake: what happens if you sleep in a scarcely comfortable bed  after having taken physical training in the evening? If the mattress is too hard, for instance, you will tend to take postures who will make some muscular bands rigid, the excessive hardness of the support shall prevent good blood circulation , and so on …

Why should you be concerned with the quality of your sleep?

Good sleep:

  • Stimulates the growth hormone (gh), which has lipolytic functions (it burns fat)
  • Lowers the values of both glycaemia and insulin
  • Aldosterone and cortisol diminish, fostering slimming
  • When sleeping, you burn approx. 50 calories every hour
  • Studies state that the largest muscles “train better” when sleep is satisfactory

How to improve the quality of sleep, sport and metabolism?

  • Eat regularly without gorging yourself
    Even a dinner based on sole proteins takes some hours to be metabolized; before going to sleep, you should go for a walk
  • Do not go to sleep immediately after the sport performance, mainly if your training was intensive
    The anaerobic effort causes the production of lactate, which requires some hours before being reabsorbed; the same applies to both the micro-traumas from running or contact sports, and to adrenaline

Drink a lot and frequently
the organism needs it and all the metabolic processes will work at their best ensuring health, efficiency and rest

1 Comment On This Topic

  1. […] it’s a known fact that we all share the need to sleep, people who regularly engage in sports need a sleep regimen that is appropriate in terms of the number of hours and also the overall quality of their sleep. […]


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