We’ve mentioned the need for sleep before in our blogs but we’ve never discussed exactly how important sleep is for recovery. When we talk about exercise and it’s benefit for all things health, we have to keep in mind that more is not always better. The human body has to constantly undergo some kind of physical challenge in order for the brain to receive the signal that says, “create new muscle and bone density to handle this”. If the body never receives that challenge, the brain won’t create this new tissue because a need for it hasn’t been presented. However, with any construction of a building, the cement needs time to dry. Your body is the same way and sleep is that time to allow things to dry if you will.
The human body releases growth hormone two times in its’ existence. During really intense exercise and during deep sleep. Your body produces HGH all on it’s own. Yes, HGH. The stuff professional athletes get in trouble for taking orally. We already know we’re going to produce it when we exercise and luckily for us, we exercise with intensity every time we step into the gym. The same cannot be said for others not doing CrossFit. What we know for sure though is that the majority of us are not sleeping enough. The average American sleeps 6 hours. If you sleep less than 7 hours you run the risk of becoming a pre-diabetic, solely due to the fact that regulating blood sugar is a mechanism that takes place during deep sleep as well.
We have to give our bodies to repair all these functions and sleep is the time to do it. People who aren’t exercising with intensity don’t need as much as those of us that are. If you’re working out with intensity, you need to be getting an average of 8 hours of sleep. This also means that you’re sleeping throughout the 8 hours, not waking up every few hours or so. Get more sleep!!!