Athletes and weekend warriors know to stretch before and after completing their fitness routine to maximize post-workout recovery. But, as it turns out, your sleeping pattern is just as important as the work you put in at the gym. Keep reading to find out the connection between deep sleep and post-workout recovery. (Spoiler: It’s an important one!)
First Things First: What Are the Different Stages of Sleep?
The different stages of sleep include Light, REM and Slow Wave Sleep (SWS). Let’s dive a little deeper – pun very much intended – and see what they’re all about.
Light sleep is a non-REM form of sleep. You’re not in deep sleep but you are somewhat alert and can be easily woken. Light sleep is synonymous with short "cat naps."
Also known as Rapid Eye Movement (REM), REM pertains to memory and information retention. Think of REM as the stage of sleep where everything you’ve experienced and learned that day gets cemented as memories. Most people enter REM sleep about 90 minutes after they first begin to fall asleep. It’s also the stage where your brain is the most active (out of all the stages) and you experience quick eye movements (hence the name).
Slow Wave Sleep
Slow Wave Sleep (SMS) is also known as deep sleep aka the restorative stage of sleep. Studies have shown that deep sleep plays "an important role in cerebral restoration and recovery in humans." It's a vital stage for athletes, weekend warriors and everyone in between because it’s at this point in time when the body repairs and rebuilds the muscles and tissues that were broken down earlier in the day during training. In short, muscles aren't built at the gym – they’re built when you’re in deep sleep.
How Does Sleep Help with Workout Recovery?
When it comes to post-workout recovery, experts say that sleep – specifically, deep sleep – is vital because it’s when your body restores itself by helping to balance your metabolism and blood sugar levels while also increasing blood flow to your muscles.
Essentially, your body becomes stronger while you sleep – not during your favorite bootcamp or yoga sculpt class. And that’s exactly why we dreamt up Vital Performance™*, an extension of our Vital Proteins® brand that puts the spotlight on every step of your fitness journey. Made up of Pre, Recover & Sleep, this trio is a first-of-its-kind support system for muscles and joints. Sleep, in particular, helps you wake up feeling ready to take on your next training session.** (Fun fact: All three are NSF Certified for Sport®!)
What makes this product so special is the addition of collagen and the omission of melatonin. Instead, Sleep boasts rest- and relaxation-inducing functional ingredients such as GABA, L-theanine and magnesium. While many sleep aids on the market include melatonin, ours includes L-tryptophan, an amino acid that, when ingested, gets converted into melatonin naturally. The goal? To provide you with the extra boost needed to reach that coveted deep sleep stage. Additional functional ingredients like 5-HTP and B vitamins are designed to have you feeling restored so you’re ready to tackle your next-day performance.**
Plus, Sleep is super easy to use. Add 1 scoop to 8 fl oz of hot water, 15-30 minutes before sleep. Stir thoroughly before enjoying.
Vital Performance™ Sleep's Ingredients: What They Are & How They Benefit You
GABA is the body’s principle inhibitory neurotransmitter. It is responsible for pumping the brakes on our nerve impulses whenever we’re placed in less-than-ideal, stressful situations. A high level of GABA activity indicates a lower chance of overstimulation and a higher chance of feeling calm under pressure.
A water-soluble amino acid naturally found in black tea leaves, green tea leaves, and Bay Bolete mushrooms. Research shows that L-theanine promotes an “alert calm” in those who consume it.
Magnesium is said to promote a more restful night’s sleep by helping to maintain healthy levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter associated with restorative sleep. Think of magnesium as GABA’s equally important partner. They work hand-in-hand. Without magnesium’s ability to increase GABA, the neurotransmitter wouldn’t be able to promote a calm, relaxed state for the body. Magnesium Glycinate, specifically, is the most absorbable form of magnesium on the market.
Are you ready to elevate your post-workout recovery? Visit vitalproteins.com to order Vital Performance™ Sleep today!