The environment that we sleep in has a lot to do with our ability to fall, and stay asleep. Things like the lights in the big cities we live in, television, smart phones, computers, and tablets are all negatively impacting our lives in that regard. The light from these devices is tricking our brains into believing it is daylight long into the darkness of the night. Not to mention, the world we now live in is considerably noisier than it once was.
It may be near impossible when faced with these numerous challenges to find an ideal sleeping situation. It is however, still important to attempt to achieve this goal. There are certain things we can try to help to control our environment, as well as some supplements that can help to regulate our sleep, and provide our muscles with the nutrients they need in order to grow at the same time. By doing so, we can truly maximize the training stimulus that we have applied though our efforts with weight training, and reap the full rewards of the hard work we put in.
Attempting to limit the noise that we hear while asleep is also important. Even while we are asleep, our brain can still process sound. This can wake us up in the middle of the night and interrupt our deepest, and most anabolic stage of sleep.. Doing the best we can to create a dark and quiet environment will go a long way to maximizing our muscle mass.
Melatonin has ben shown to aid in facilitating the onset of sleep. All of this extra light that we are receiving from the communication tools that we are far too attached to is serving to suppress our own natural output of melatonin. In order to balance the scales somewhat, it may be useful to take melatonin to help reset our body’s ability to fall asleep.
ZMA is another supplement that can aid in acquiring deep sleep. It was initially invented as a method of boosting testosterone in individuals whose levels of the principal ingredients, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin-B6 may be low due to a rigorous training schedule. The side effect is that magnesium serves as a relaxant, and the combination has been shown to have positive benefits regarding deep, anabolic sleep. I personally have had success with ZMA and continue to take it daily.
Another addition to maximizing muscle mass while sleeping, although not directly related to aiding in sleep, is casein. Whether you consume it by eating cottage cheese before bed, or as I do-mixed with peanut butter and water, consuming casein before bed will greatly increase the available amino acids needed for protein synthesis and muscle repair and ultimately growth. Casein digests very slowly, and has been shown to keep blood levels of amino acids elevated for up to seven hours after ingestion. There are benefits to the additional peanut butter as well.
Give these suggestions a try in order to get building bigger, and stronger muscles!