Often I see a lot of competitors who get up early for cardio, then work all day, hit the gym then hit up another job or a cardio session. I’m all for putting in work, but where do we find balance between doing what we need to achieve our goals and burning ourselves out. Too much physical stress results in elevate cortisol, and catabolism. Not enough sleep leads to insuffiemt growth hormone levels and inadequate recovery. So how do we make the most of our day and still respect our bodies? Human growth hormone, known as HGH is released secretion during early sleep which is typically when the deepest sleep cycles occur. Research states that up to 60%-70% of our daily levels occur during this period of time. Another important factor with sleep, especially for those looking to gain, or at least preserve muscle mass, and who wouldn’t want that, is lowered energy consumption. This is a biological mechanism for resource conservation. The average bodybuilder eats 5-6 meals a day, that would substantially increase if we did not get enough sleep. Eating multiple meals throughout the day assists growth, and sleep helps to ensure that food is used to replace energy and rebuild muscle, this is why I personally like to have 35g of casein and 10g of glutamine pre bed. Casein, a slow release protein ensure a positive nitrogen balance and help spare muscle tissue from wasting. This particular protein is released over an 8 hour period. Ideal for the average sleep cycle. As for glutamine, this amino can help prevent muscle wasting, which normally occurs due to a lack of Amin acids during a faster period. Fasting can also result in increased cortisol secretions and inflammation if not countered with bcaas. Glutamine helps maintain a positive nitrogen balance and helps to promote repair. So yes ladies, when someone tries to wake you at at an ungodly hour, tell them you do in fact need your beauty sleep. Muscles are beautiful, right?