Here at AKC we always advocate to take the route that may be more difficult, but it pays off in the end. You kill it in the gym, you crush it at work, and you’re the natural leader of your family, but we all need a bit of downtime. Recently I’ve realized that I wasn’t giving myself enough recovery, if any at all. We’ll discuss the importance of rest and downtime for dads and husbands who dominate life.
My posts always come out of a personal experience as I don’t like to write about things I’m not familiar with. Through my teens and 20s I was a night owl. It was rare for me to be in bed before midnight. I felt like after a hard day’s work, this was my time to do what I want and that usually consisted of beer, cigarettes and TV. I’d wake up feeling like shit and I’d have to drag my ass out if bed unwillingly after hitting snooze on my phone for the 4th time.
I was thinking the other day how people these days don’t sleep enough. With the 24/7 distractions we have, combined with an ever increasing workload, we are all sacrificing more than we think when we decide to neglect sleep. Just like I had been above, people assume that you should wake up feeling tired and sluggish. Since I’ve increased the hours I sleep, I can say it’s just the opposite.
Getting a full 8 hours sleep has done wonders for me. I wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day. When you’re sleep deprived for so long you forget what a good night’s rest is like. Before, I wouldn’t have even felt this way until around coffee cup number two. I’ve even cut back on the caffeine because I feel I don’t need as much to get my ass in high gear.
Eat big, lift big, get big as they say, but sleep is a crucial part of building muscle and strength. Not getting enough sleep won’t allow your muscles to recover from your workout. Plus, if you workout early in the morning, the added energy boost makes it a little easier.
This is an unexpected but logical gain of getting more sleep. I feel that I can handle stress better and my problem solving ability is heightened. I feel that I have the ability to focus better on tasks. Things also seem to take less of a toll on my brain as they used to. I used to be mentally drained by 5pm every day, but it’s not the case anymore.
This is small and possibly a placebo affect but I’ve noticed my eyes don’t look as tired and my skin seems to have improved a bit. I have cut back on booze recently so I’m sure it’s a combination of both but noteworthy none the less.
I went from getting roughly 5 hours of sleep a night to 8 and it’s been great. For guys, especially guys who do weight training, 8 hours is recommended if you can. I’d say 7 hours should be the minimal amount of sleep you should get. I know everyone has different obligations and schedules but try to get as much as possible. Also, I’ve found that all the time I used to use staying up late doing things that gave me no benefits have been traded for all the productive things I get done by waking up early.
In our society today, people are resting less and less. It takes a toll on you in the long run and even increasing your sleep by one hour if you can will help. More sleep will help you physically, mentally and give you more energy and focus than you ever imagined. Give up watching TV or drinking at night to get some well needed shut eye. I promise you won’t regret it.