Sleep and Growth Hormone

04-08-2017
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Testosterone and growth hormone: you can often hear that these are the most anabolic hormones, i.e. the most important hormones regarding muscle growth. There is only one problem: it is never enough of them. However, the growth hormone production of your body can also be enhanced by legal and natural means.


Sleep and Growth Hormone

Testosterone and growth hormone: you can often hear that these are the most anabolic hormones, i.e. the most important hormones regarding muscle growth. There is only one problem: it is never enough of them. However, the growth hormone production of your body can also be enhanced by legal and natural means.

Why do we need sleep?

To put it simple: to get enough rest. I guess you already know that. But let’s take a closer look: what does it mean in practice?

Your body is recovering while you are sleeping, both physically and mentally. The muscle tissues you bombed to pieces during your workout recover during sleep time. So, it is quite evident that you should make the best of this time. As a beginner, who would have thought that muscles actually grow while you are sleeping, not while you are working out?

Recovery and muscle growth are regulated by several hormones in your body. One of them is human growth hormone (HGH).

What is growth hormone and what is it good for?

In the human body growth hormone is produced by the frontal lobe of the hypothalamus, which is less than one centimeter in diameter and weighs only a gram and a half. Several hormones are produced in the frontal lobe, and their production is regulated by the hypothalamus.

The hypothalamus receives the signals transmitted by the nervous system including pain, excitement, depression, smells or information about nutrients, electrolytes or liquid levels. These should all be recognized by the hypothalamus, as it needs these data to control various processes in the body.

By increasing your growth hormone levels you can achieve the following results:

  • faster protein synthesis
  • less carbs and
  • more fat will be used as energy sources
  • enhanced muscle strength

As you can see, these are all favorable results for us who want to get leaner, more muscular or both. We can definitely say that HGH is the only substance which is capable of enhancing muscle strength and reducing body fat at the same time.

The night hormone: let’s do some science!

It is an important fact that GH is most of all a “night” hormone, as its production is strongly dependent on sleep. After you made yourself comfy and cozy in your bed at night, your sleep will deepen through four stages, all of which can be clearly distinguished by “brainwave measurements”, and you will get to the deepest of deep sleeps in about 45 minutes. Then, this process is repeated in reverse order, which means, you will get back to the shallowest stage in 45 more minutes. These four stages are called slow-wave sleep. This is followed by a new stage which lasts about 10 to 15 minutes and can be characterized by strongly decreased muscle tone and rapid eye movements. For the latter reason, it was named Rapid Eye Movement or REM sleep. After the REM stage you get back to slow-wave sleep and your sleep will deepen through four stages and get back to shallow again, which will be followed by an REM stage again. Sleep cycles repeat 4 to 6 times a night.

The GH producing cells of the adenohypophysis push quite a large amount of GH to the blood during slow-wave sleep, which causes the plasma hormone levels to rise dramatically. A high level of GH in the blood hinders its own secretion by promoting the production of a protein called somatostatin in the hypothalamus, which inhibits the GH production of the adenohypophysis. Since the maximum amount of somatostatin is pushed into the blood during the REM stage of sleep, GH, which has a short half-life, virtually disappears from the blood in this stage. The regulation mechanism of GH production implies that the period of deep sleep plays an important role in maximizing the secretion of this hormone which is vital for bodybuilders.

How supplements can help

It is proven that some amino acids including arginine or ornithine are capable of enhancing the growth hormone production of the body. So, taking these before bedtime is definitely a good idea, just as glutamine, which has a similar effect beside several other benefits. Apart from this, there are substances which contribute to the enhancement of GH secretion indirectly, by promoting deep sleep. Such substances are GABA, tryptophan or useful “sleepy time” herbs like valerian or chamomile.

Beside maximizing HGH secretion during your sleep, other substances which promote recovery can also be very helpful, with special regard to BCAAs, glutamine (which is necessary anyway) and a slow-digesting protein complex with a complete amino acid profile. Once you have made the construction area tidy, you should have plenty of building material at hand, too, right? You can take each active substance separately. However, it is much more convenient to try a product which was developed specifically for this purpose, so it contains all the important active ingredients you need to rev up your HGH production to the maximum.

Summary

As you can see, sleep is the key to it all. Now that you possess the necessary knowledge, all you need to do is make sure you get enough quality sleep and sufficient nutrient intake so you can make the best of the nighttime recovery period.


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