Getting high quality sleep is important for everyone, but it is especially important for bodybuilders. When you’re in an intensive bodybuilding routine, getting sufficient sleep is paramount to longevity, injury prevention, and improving performance.
Sleep is catabolic to muscle recovery and growth, which helps to repair and build upon all of the micro-tears created in your muscles after heavy lifting. This ensures that your muscles are making a full recovery so that next time you hit the weights they are ready to perform at their best. In fact, 60-70% of daily human growth hormone (HGH) is released during sleep. This means that low quality sleep does not allow the body to optimally release and circulate HGH.
Beyond muscle recovery and growth, sleep is paramount to optimal brain function, organ tissue restoration, and immune cell replenishment, all of which are beneficial to healthy, long-lived bodybuilding.
Additional benefits of high quality sleep
On top of all the bodybuilding-specific benefits, sleep provides many additional advantages for everyday life. High-quality sleep improves nearly every aspect of our health, but some of the key benefits include:
Clearly, getting high-quality sleep is crucial to better performance in both life and in the gym. But how can you ensure that you are getting the top-notch zzz’s you need in order to boost your performance in the gym, provide your muscles with a full recovery, and experience optimal gains? Well, beyond the requisite 8 hour goal that we should all be targeting, the key is quite simple. Close your mouth, and breathe through your nose.
While many people assume that the way in which we get air in and out of our bodies doesn’t matter, there are in fact significant differences between mouth breathing and nose breathing. Mouth breathing is fine during periods of intense physical exertion, but should be avoided during rest and sleep since chronic mouth breathing has several harmful effects.
Nose breathing, on the other hand, leads to optimal physical and cognitive performance as it provides an array of benefits. Specifically, nose breathing during sleep helps us to:
Rebalance our oxygen - carbon dioxide levels
Active the restorative parasympathetic response
Release nitric oxide, a vasodilator that helps reduce blood pressure and prevent erectile dysfunction, among other benefits
Fortify our oral health, and more!
Bodybuilding puts a lot of physical stress on your body. While this can lead to better fitness and gains, nose breathing during sleep is crucial for bodybuilders to achieve those gains in a healthy, sustainable way.
How you breathe during sleep affects your performance in the gym
With regards to bodybuilding, we’ve already discussed how sleep improves muscle recovery and growth. While this is clearly important, it turns out that high-quality sleep while nose breathing can actually boost performance in the gym as well. Let’s get into the science.
When we mouth breathe, we are actually over breathing, meaning that we inhale and exhale too much air with each breath. 2-3 times more air than we need to be exact. This causes a problem because it depletes our body of CO2. And while CO2 is primarily thought of as a waste gas, it plays a vital role in oxygenating our muscles.
When oxygen is absorbed through the alveoli of the lungs, it is then transported to where it is needed via the hemoglobin within red blood cells. However, CO2 is the catalyst required for oxygen-carrying hemoglobin to release the oxygen molecule to the tissues that need it. Therefore, if there is a lower level of CO2 in the body, the blood is less efficient at oxygenating bodily tissues, including muscle tissues.
During a heavy weightlifting workout, your muscles need all the oxygen that they can get to perform at a high level and avoid injury. While lifting, your blood oxygen level is probably between 95-99% oxygenated, meaning that you have plenty of oxygen to supply to your muscles. But without sufficient CO2, that doesn’t mean much. CO2 is paramount to maximizing the delivery of oxygen from your blood to your muscles.
By nose breathing while we sleep, we can both eliminate over breathing and increase our body’s CO2 tolerance. Increasing our CO2 tolerance during rest will carry over to physical exertion, allowing you to lift more and improve performance.
Sleep apnea and snoring from bodybuilding
It is not uncommon for bodybuilders to develop sleep apnea as a result of increasing their muscle mass. The muscle built around the neck, chest, and abdominals specifically put stress on the respiratory system. Extra weight requires the body to work harder to supply oxygen and can cause bodybuilders to experience frequent apneas throughout the night.
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that, if untreated, can result in serious health issues and even death. Beyond these severities, even minor sleep apnea can hold you back from maximizing your gains as you will not achieve restorative sleep.
Bodybuilders who are diagnosed with sleep apnea will likely be prescribed a CPAP device as therapy. However, many users struggle to achieve CPAP Compliance as a result of mouth breathing. Mouth breathing renders the device useless, inhibiting you from getting the high quality sleep that you need to stay healthy and improve your performance in the gym.
Thankfully, you can use SomniFix Strips in combination with your CPAP device to improve CPAP Compliance and maximize its effectiveness.
The key to great sleep? Nose breathing.
Whether or not you have a sleep apnea diagnosis, it is paramount to understand that the key to optimal sleep while bodybuilding is to breathe through your nose. Nose breathing allows you to maximize your gains by providing optimal conditions for muscle growth and recovery. It also provides a myriad of benefits that will boost your overall health, energy, and well-being.
SomniFix Strips are the key to stopping harmful mouth breathing while sleeping and facilitating nose breathing instead. Give SomniFix Strips a try tonight, completely risk-free, and see how nose breathing translates into better bodybuilding performance. Happy lifting!
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