As someone with a high physical activity level, I understand and see the the importance of getting 8 hours of rest per night compared. Sleep is an essential part of my life and shapes my daily performance. Some days I may dabble with martial arts or yoga on top of my daily gym sessions. Weekends are usually comprised of a day of snowboarding and outdoor workouts, if the weather is nice. I train a minimum of 4 days per week and a maximum 10-12, including snowboarding/active recovery. When I don’t get an adequate amount of sleep every night, lots of different parts of my life are affected. I am not as focused or alert in my daily life, my performance in the gym is not what it would normally be, my mood is impacted negatively, and I simply do not feel as healthy. So, why exactly does sleep create such benefits? What is really happening on the inside?
While you’re sleeping, one of the eleven organ systems in the body is stimulated during REM; the endocrine system, which is responsible for the hormones in the human body. During REM sleep, the body undergoes repair. High levels of growth hormone and testosterone are released, preparing the body for the next day ahead. Establishing 8 hours of sleep per night for men with high activity levels is essential because it gives the body enough time to take advantage of every second of REM needed to promote the highest levels of testosterone possible, in a natural way. High levels of natural testosterone can help smash symptoms of depression and elevate the mood in a positive way leading to greater focus, performance, and recovery.
Getting enough sleep is especially important for those in recovery from addiction. People who are recovering from substances such as alcohol or drugs are dealing with a great deal of chemical imbalance in their body and brain, which can affect them physiologically and psychologically. I’ve worked with many men who struggle with developing healthy sleeping patterns, which impact their day-to-day performance. I’ve heard a lot of individuals state that they don’t feel like they need more than 6 hours of rest and this might be true, but they simply won’t be reaping the benefits of their full potential with the recommended 8 hours per night. So, I recommend these individuals do the adequate research and find out how much sleep they need for optimum performance so that they set themselves up for success in the best way possible.
Tree House Recovery is a men’s treatment program located in Portland, Oregon. Creating sustainable recovery through sustainable change, our programs help men learn how to live sober with adventurous lives. Call us today for information: (503) 850-2474