How sleep affects your bodybuilding gains
Next to eating right in order to lay the foundation for muscle building is the importance of sleeping well. Both the length and quality of your sleep will greatly effect the degree to which your muscles will recover from work outs as well as how much they will grow. When a person sleeps important processes of regulation ocurr in the limbic system within the brain. These allow the secretion of neuropeptides that repair tissue and allow for building. Growth hormone is one such neuropeptide, or hormone, that is released in in the first few hours of sleep that regulate muscle repair and growth. Therefore, falling asleep easily and staying asleep are significant to how much punch you get out each work out.
Many people have issues both with falling asleep as well as with staying deeply asleep so that they can attain this very important level of restoration that ocurrs during the sleep cycle. Melatonin, which is made in the pineal gland, will greatly effect the quality of your sleep. To make melatonin efficiently on your own your bedroom must be absolutely dark, as light hitting the retina will disrupt the production of this sleep hormone. For many people who do not sleep well the use of Melatonin within 30 minutes of sleep is very effective at helping to initiate sleep, as well as to stay asleep through the night, minimizing waking up too soon and breaking the growth that happens during this vital time of rest.
Melatonin has many other functions of regulation in the body including acting as an anti-oxidant. Its usage appears to have no negative bio-feedback loop, meaning it will not effect one's own production of Melatonin adversely. Melatonin is widely reserached for its beneficial effects as an anti-aging hormone in people with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) as well as its role in immune function. You can get Melatonin from here. Overall it gets a very good rating with few concerns except for possibly in people with auto-immune issues. Here the effect is not totally clear. For myself, I have used it to normalize my sleep when it has been out of balance and to attain deeper levels of rest that have made my muscles morph. When I sleep I grow. It is that simple!