Sleeping is not only useful for man, it is a necessity! What can we say about professional bodybuilders...Despite smart guys studied carefully the value of the sleep for a body and structure of the sleep; its functions haven’t clarified yet.   

Today it is clear understand only one: sleeping is not a passive state when brain and physiological processes are in off-position. Sleeping is a very complex biochemical process which includes almost all body system.  

Sleep cycle.

Thus, what is sleep? Concerns Wiki, you can find next definition there: sleep is a natural physiological process being on a state with minimal level of brain activity and low reaction on environment.

Today, scientists define five phases of this process. Each of them is characterized by certain level of brain activity, muscle tonus and eyeballs movements.

  • The first phase is - falling asleep, dozing;
  • The second phase is – light sleep;
  • The third and fourth phase – so called ‘slow-wave sleep’ or deep sleep. This phase in increased among those people who have lack of sleep. This fact led scientists to conclusion that exactly this phase is the most important in recovery.
  • The fifth phase is the REM-sleep (rapid eye movement sleep). This phase is unique in all aspects. Firstly, the muscle tonus is minimal in this phase, but simultaneously it is observed very fast movements of eyeballs. And if in the slow phase all functions of the body are stable, in the REM-phase all indicators such as pressure levels, heart rate and even breathe become to change sharply.

Furthermore, just in the fifth phase we can see dreams. Just in this phase men have erection despite of what they dream of. If encephalogram is made in this stage, it will look like EEG in waking state. That is why this phase is also called ‘paradoxical sleep’, because it is so dissimilar with other stages. It is dissimilar so much, that smart guys in white coats define wakefulness, sleep stage, and rapid eye movement sleep (REM sleep). There are definite parts of brain which are responsible for each phase.

During night sleep man go through all 5 stages from falling asleep to REM-sleep. Each stage lasts about hour and a half and repeats 4-6 times per night. Firstly, most of the time takes non-REM sleep, but towards the morning it is almost displaced by REM-sleep.

If you wake up during REM-sleep, you will be weak, flabby and depressed. I think everybody knows what I am talking about. So if you like to have a short sleep after lunch, it will be enough to rest about 40 minutes and awake before the REM-sleep will start.

How long should sportsman sleep?

The average duration of the sleep depends on age hard. According to scientists, only 10% of people need less than 7 hours. Majority needs more than 7-8 hours.

If you are awakening in the morning and feeling yourself comfortable, it means that you have had enough rest for your body. You can try different methods to define your norm. For example, alarm clock. If you are opening your eyes before this monster - congratulations, you have enough rest. If your sleep is interrupted every time, you haven’t enough sleep again.

There is one more way, vacation time. During your holiday, when you needn’t to wake up early in the morning, go to bed as usual. And switch off your alarm clock. First couple of days you won’t wake up till lunch because your body will try to recover itself. But after 4-5 days just watch in what time you are awakening. The average duration of this period will be the seeking index. If you define it, you have a chance to balance your everyday life. Remember that time is needed for the rest may change due to the age and stress.

Going in for sport, bodybuilding and fitness is one of the most secure and effective ways for the insomnia. Physical activities increase non-REM sleep phase. Intensive training, visiting sauna and steam room are increasing duration of deep, low-wave sleep due to decrease REM-sleep stage.

At the same time, it is important to remember that physical and nervous overload, which always accompany with training, it is a stress for the body. Of course, your body tries to overcome it and only after starts the overcompensation. Thus training overload can cause sleep problems.

Sleep problems are the right way to impairment of psychomotor functions and decrease ability for trainings or any other activities. It relates to losing of physic tonus, and intensity of trainings depends on motivation and willpower a lot.

How to get a restful night sleep?

Of course, you need a bed, a very comfortable bed. If your sofa is much older than you and has irregular bumps and hard spots, forget about normal rest. You need to replace this monster with new bad or orthopedic mattress. Yes, you will have to spend a lot.

It is an interesting fact about sleeping on a hard surface. If you have strength training, you need a mattress follows the natural body’s curves and gives a rest to trained muscles. On the other hand, softness has its limits too.

Sleep can be a stumbling block for a builder and can cause a vicious circle. In what time are you usually attend the gym? After work, is that right? It means that training ends about 8 o’clock in the best case. In the worst case it ends by 9-10 o’clock in the evening. Such a late time has negative impact on sleep. Your body is tired, but it is hard to falling asleep because of increased tonus. As usual, you will have to wake up early in the morning next day to follow your schedule. All these will lead you to chronic lack of sleep.

Such a situation is easy to correct in summer. You can go for a walk after dinner about half an hour. Healthy sleep will be guaranteed. In late autumn and winter this is not a variant. That’s why there are some sleeping tips below:

  • the first tip: go to bed at the same time every night. Habits have a powerful effect;
  • the second tip: before falling asleep try to listen to some sounds with relaxing effect such as forest rain, sea waves, Tibetian singing bowls;
  • the third tip: eat the right meal, for example, low fat curd. Firstly, it is difficult to fall asleep when you want to eat or when you have already eaten much. Secondly, casein contained in curd prevents trained muscles from catabolism;
  • the fourth tip: air out the bedroom or even whole flat before going to bed;
  • the fifth tip: do not use notebook, smartphone or a tablet and do not watch TV at least 1-2 hours before sleeping. May be our grandmas were right when try to cover TV screen with openwork cloths. All the gadgets are emitting such a light that has stimulating effect. Your brain begins preparing to work instead of having a rest. That’s why it is better to read a paper book or listen to relaxing music (the second tip).
  • the sixth tip: a good sex leads to a good sleep.

It is often said of ‘owls’ and ‘larks’. We think that is a way to justify yourself. Time of going to bed and wakening up is just a habit. It has been proved. If the owl tries to fall asleep at 9-10 o’clock in the evening it will sing songs like a lark at 7 o’clock in the morning. It is not difficult to put an owl to bed early. It should get out of bed early.

The one thing that you cannot influence on is the minimal time for the rest. It is given from nature like a colour of eyes or hairs. Somebody needs only 6 hours and someone like a lion. Though, the average time is 8 hours.

In fact, these 8 hours are the very average time. When you are feeling depressed, having a stress or just a hard period of life, your body wants to sleep more than that 8 hours. When you are felling cool and inspired, you don’t want to sleep at all.


In short, there are tips for the good sleep:

  • you need comfortable bed with not very hard surface;
  • you need air out your bedroom before going to bed;
  • go to bed in certain time every night;
  • don’t eat carb-heavy meal a couple hours before sleep, choose protein;
  • watch your nutrition. Lack of magnesium, calcium, zinc and potassium can lead to insomnia;
  • a cup of warm low fat milk cause good sleep due to the tryptophan that has impact on brain;
  • chamomile tea also has good relaxing effect. Do not drink black or green one;
  • try some breathing practices. They don’t demand much time and force;
  • have a sex before sleeping.

There are simple tips for healing and restorative sleep. During it your body will have a rest and your brain will have time to get rid of accumulated useless information.

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