Sleep, something so simple yet many find it very difficult to get right. Working hours, a busy social life or just a strange fear of missing out if you hit the sack before 12, whatever the reason sleep is the one thing that if most people fix would change the playing field completely. Whether the goal is to get leaner, stronger or to grow more muscle; proper sleep has so many benefits that it affects all goals equally. Change your sleeping patterns and see what it can do for you.
The majority of people require somewhere between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. When comparing the averages of people training with me, the average is more like 4-7 hours per night, demanding jobs either requiring people to work late or simply being stressful enough that people need a social release at the end of it, many people are finding it increasingly difficult to switch off at night. Get your 7-9 hours though and that’s where you're going to see huge benefits.
Giving your body the right amount of rest helps you to recover from exercise quicker, your stress hormones are lower throughout the day and most importantly for how your physical appearance, your glucose metabolism improves with regular sleeping patterns. Now of course 1 or 2 nights of inadequate sleep isn’t going to completely unbalance your normal hormonal signalling but consistently getting lower amounts of sleep will make you feel stressed, weak and fat to the point where achieving your fitness goals, especially when it comes to aesthetics, can become a really difficult challenge.
HGH (human growth hormone) is the most important hormone to think about when improving your sleep. It's released in cycles as you are sleeping and although it’s different for everyone, generally the first release is said to take place about 90-120 minutes after you fall asleep and then another release 3 hours after that. So getting a minimum 5-6 hours sleep per night will be incredibly beneficial, but increase that up to 8-9 hours, and you'll see significant improvements in everything. HGH is not only hugely beneficial for recovery from exercise, but is also one of the key components when it comes to burning off massive amounts of body fat.