Sleep is one of the most overlooked aspects of health and training.
Its key to managing stress, inflammation, and recovery. Not getting enough can literally sap your strength and mental focus, and really hurt your gains in the long run.
Testosterone is prized for its anabolic effects. Testosterone secretion occurs primarily during sleep, and coincides with REM sleep cycles. Most of your testosterone is released at night, with levels gradually dropping as the day goes on. Also, the largest secretions of GH (most of your total day’s worth) occur during the first 1-2 hours of sleep. Later in the night, GH is also correlated with REM sleep. Both GH and testosterone are potent promoters of protein synthesis. Hinder their secretion, and you’re just asking for trouble.
Chronic sleep loss also causes excessive cortisol secretion, and decreases insulin sensitivity. It also decreases leptin, and increases ghrelin. Leptin tells our brains we are not hungry, ghrelin stimulates hunger.
So, one of the best things we can do after the gym? Get your protein. Then, TAKE A NAP! I usually work out after work in the evening. After a session I chug a protein shake, pass out for a couple hours, then wake up STARVING. This is when I cook a couple pounds of meat and a bunch of veggies. I can eat my dinner, and have some meals ready for the rest of the week.
Learn to turn out all the lights an hour or so before bed, turn off the devices, light some candles, and go to sleep in the quiet dark. Having a nice relaxing pre-bed routine will ensure you get the most restful, recovery-promoting sleep possible.
Get jacked in your sleep, fool! Yeah!