Whilst we spend about one-third of our lives asleep, many of us think that it is a passive state where our body goes under suspension of normal activities. Few knows that it is actually the perfect time for the body to undergo repair and detoxification. Note that our body goes through different sleep cycles: The first four stages of each cycle are regarded as quiet sleep or non-rapid eye move-ment (NREM). The final stage is denoted by rapid eye movement (REM).
During the NREM stage, you are awake or partially awake and not into dreams where your body is functioning normally, but once you shift to REM, your internal restoration process starts. You will start dreaming and will feel irritated someone tries to wake you up. REM is the stage where your body rests psychologically, your brain, bones, muscles repair and prepare for the next step. For us(lifters) rest is the key to muscle growth and a deep sleep helps to increase testosterone levels. We break muscle tissues at the gym which repair and rebuild while we rest hence. Sleep(rest) is the most important thing in your muscle building process. Now how do we get REM or know we are in REM?
It is often hard to get a good sleep even when we do fall asleep, the quality of sleep may not be sufficient. So some basic remedies to get a good sleep are:
• Never oversleep
• Take a warm bath – sooths you.
• Avoid alcohol, caffeine and brain stimulating food/beverages.
• Relax in the evenings and get your sleeping environment comfortable.
Supplementation can be a great addition. A boon to humans in their busy lifestyle is supplement – a support system. Many deny supplements or rely on supplements whereas the purpose of supplements is just to fill the gap of requirement and not to be our primary source of nutrients.
ZMA – Zinc Magnesium Aspartate is not just a testosterone booster but an important mineral with antioxidant properties critical for protein synthesis and mechanism that leads to muscle growth. ZMA results in increases strength, endurance, and achieved a better sleep quality. Often lifters are found deficient of Zinc due to loss of it while sweat at training and loss through urine other dietary factors may be involved. Refined sugars as well reduce zinc levels in blood. Men should look for ZMA supplements that provide 30 mg of zinc, 450 mg of magnesium, and 10-11 mg of B6; no more, no less. Women should take a 20 mg dose of zinc, 300 mg of magnesium, and 6-7 mg B6. Since a full dose of ZMA is usually 3 capsules, the dose for women can be achieved by taking 2 capsules. Also, be sure that it lists ZMA from SNAC systems on the label. Anything else is not true ZMA. Taking more will never help you do more or grow more. Zinc above 30mg will make you copper deficient and Magnesium above 450mg will interfere sleep. Do not take ZMA with any food as they are poorly absorbed when consumed with food. Take ZMA 30-60min before bed with water and no dairy product. It’s not Shilajeet(to be honest – better than that). Hence Eat Sleep Train Repeat.
Article by Tejas Lalwani