When you sleep, your body takes advantage of the period of rest by releasing growth hormones that allow your bones and muscles to repair and grow without motion and gravity interfering. This explains why babies, children, and teenagers need far more rest than adults. A newborn baby needs 17 hours a day that gradually lessens to 10 hours in late teenage years.
For children, the most intense period of growth hormone is released shortly after entering deep sleep. It’s even said that getting more sleep during these growing years can actually make a child grow taller (source).
The benefits don’t end after adolescence. Our bodies require recovery from every day wear and tear, and even more so after rigorous activity. Sleep is like a tune up for your body. It helps muscle recovery by boosting growth hormone and decreasing cortisol production, a stress hormone that breaks down muscle tissue and impairs immunity. It’s no wonder so many professional sports teams and athletes are now hiring sleep coaches.
The Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Canucks are two examples of a growing number of teams now working with Vancouver-based Fatigue Science, a high-performance sleep consultancy that provides sleep monitoring data for elite athletes, military, and industrial-workers (source).
If sleep is now being prescribed to professional athletes and our country’s first line of defense, it’s safe to say that getting more sleep can benefit the average Joe and Jane.
Sleep renews, strengthens, and repairs. By prioritizing better sleep, you might just wake up stronger.