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June brings summer weather, but it’s also National Men’s Health Month, and we’re giving you guys some knowledge you may not know you needed. You might underestimate the importance of sleep, not quite recognizing how critical it is to strength, health, and overall well-being. You may make time for fitness, but frequently overlook your own rest each night.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, men ages 24-64 should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep -- and men are getting nowhere near that. Read More: How Much Sleep is Really Enough For You?
Forty percent get less than the recommended amount of sleep, and 16% of men report struggling with sleep at least once a week (Are you getting enough sleep? Read More: 5 Telltale Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep).
Exercise impacts sleep for the better. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, physical activity creates more adenosine in the brain, promoting sleep. Adenosine is a compound that is present in all cells of the body and promotes sleep and suppresses arousal. It makes us feel sleepy. When awake, levels of adenosine in the brain rise each hour.
So how does sleep affect fitness? Sleep is the muscle-building supplement missing from most men’s fitness regimen. It’s crucial for recovery from strength training and helps to repair muscles after a workout. Let’s take a look at how that connection works.
Your sleep cycle fluctuates between non-REM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement) and REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep every 90 minutes.
Missing out on quality sleep can increase your appetite and hunger. It can elevate the body’s concentrations of the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin and decrease the levels of the satiety hormone leptin. This can make weight management much harder than it should be.
A new study demonstrates a link between poor sleep quality and erectile dysfunction. Scientists looked at the relationship between sleep quality and erectile function in a group of 377 men, with an average age of 46. They found that as men’s sleep quality decreased, so did erectile function.
This isn’t the first evidence of a relationship between sleep and ED. There’s actually a pretty significant body of research connecting several different sleep problems to erectile dysfunction.
Read More: Poor Sleep & Snoring Compromise Men's Sexual Health