Do you want the know the most simple secret of all athletes? Healthy eating and demanding training don’t always work: you need to take a good night of sleep. Sleep well, otherwise it’s worthless training five days a week and eating only healthy food.

Sleeping deprivation affects our body and soul’s resting, so when you sleep shortly or badly it affects many aspects of your daily life, such as your concentration and your mood and also your training performance and appetite. There are innumerous health problems associated with sleep deprivation, like increased blood pressure, high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), insulin resistance and the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Benefits

Sleeping recharges our body’s energy reserves providing the necessary strength to complete the toughest workouts. We’re talking about not only physical energy but also mental energy. Sleeping allows the recovery of the central nervous system.

Weightlifting and training go down to this: muscle growth and decrease of fat mass. While you’re sleeping, the protein synthesis increases repairing damaged muscle fibers and building new tissue. This process in addition to replacing the worn muscle tissue also adds a new thin layer of dough. Amazing, right?

The growth hormone enhances the process of protein synthesis. Although weight training helps to release the growth hormone into our bloodstream, its production occurs mainly during our sleep.

Supplements

Because they are natural opiates, melatonin supplements, 5-HTP and GABA all favor a night of better and deeper sleep.

If you take a look at the natural sleep induction process, you’ll see there is this substance that stands out: melatonin. The melatonin is an hormone produced by the pineal gland, which is the size of a small pea and lies in the center of the brain. Melatonin is released only at night because of the darkness, reaching its maximum level in the middle of the night. Then it decreases until morning. Melatonin regulates and controls our biological clock: this hormone helps improving sleep, boosts our immune system and protects our central nervous system.

Serotonin, a.k.a “happiness hormones” is also sleep inducer. You can help to improve the production of this hormone and taking it to the desirable levels with any supplement that has 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan). 5-HTTP is an amino acid which can be extracted from griffonia simplocofolia beans and promotes the natural synthesis of serotonin – a neurotransmitter that controls mood and sleep. This supplement can be very helpful with fibromyalgia treating and in headache.

Another natural soporific is GABA (gamma – aminobutyric acid), a substance produced in the brain that increases before falling asleep and acts as a neurotransmitter, promoting relaxation. GABA reduces stress and helps the brain to better prepare for sleep by receptor activation of the brain and nerves. In addition, GABA activates the release of anabolic hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone, increasing muscle mass.

So let’s recap: full training includes physical exercise, a balanced nutrition, hydration and a good night of sleep!