So why can sleep be so important in easing muscle pain. The answer is very simple. It comes down to basic sleep physiology that happens within all of us most nights without us even knowing it.
When we are awake during the day and just going about our normal daily activities, we break down muscle. The harder the activity, such as lifting heavy objects, the more we break down muscle and other soft tissues. These soft tissues and muscle have to heal. The body cannot heal this muscle during the day while we are awake and using those muscles, so it must wait until we sleep.
I am sure that you all know about how sleep has different patterns and rhythms, and you are correct, but did you also know that those rhythms are associated with the release of certain hormones within the body. Growth hormone is the one that we will focus on here. It is released by the pituitary gland approximately 2 hours into our normal sleep pattern and then has to have some time to work within the body. So, it you go to bed every night and sleep well, you are giving your body the best chance to repair muscle and other tissues. To take it even further, if you have eaten well during that day, and have the proper amounts and types of carbohydrates and proteins in your system, the healing and repair process will occur much more fully.
There are many people that do not sleep well and will wake up before growth hormone has time to be released or even have an time work repair our muscles. Now let's think about that. So tonight when you go to sleep, you will not repair you muscle tissue and therefore tomorrow you go about your day and break down more muscle tissue. And tomorrow night you don't sleep well and therefore do not repair the broken down muscle tissue from the past two days now. As this pattern continues, the muscle becomes inflamed and sore. There are many people that this pattern has been taking place for years, but even only a few days or week can cause the symptoms of achy muscles and joints.
Now for a moment, let's think about what you need to repair the muscle besides good sleep with growth hormone release. You need amino acids and you get amino acids from protein rich foods, such as meats, eggs, and dairy products. Amino acids are the building blocks of muscle and allow the body to properly repair muscle.
Ways to improve sleep patterns: no caffeine in the evening; eating dinner early enough that you will have 2-3 hours after eating before you go to bed and not over eating; no alcohol in the evening; no smoking; consider supplements such as serotonin or 5HTP; no taking naps during the day; regular exercise during the day!!
Now, I am not trying to ruin anyone's joy of looking forward to an alcoholic beverage with dinner or before bed, HOWEVER, one once of alcohol within hours before bed will significantly reduce the release of growth hormone during the first 2 hours of normal sleep patterns. So no muscle or soft tissue repair takes place. Sorry, but just wanted to give all the facts.
Many people would really enjoy waking up and feeling very good every day, and for many of us, it would only take a few minor changes in our normal day to allow us to get better diet, exercise and rest, therefore helping us feel better!! Please consider this newsletter some helpful information, as knowledge is power and I always feel that when you have the knowledge to create a plan for a change that you want to make, then the motivation to execute it is already there.
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