For all our endeavours to keep fit, a good sleep is one of the biggest rewards coming.

One of the first things the new exerciser notices is the sheer depth and quality of sleep they’re getting following a good session.

To be thoroughly spent at the end of each day is a claim that many a hardworking person can make. For the exerciser though, it’s more than just a tired brain muscle. It could be that every muscle in your body also wants you to take the weight off your feet and hit the sack because REM sleep is our body’s best opportunity to repair itself.

As soon as we drift off, our bodies begin the night shift! While we’re blissfully unaware and, more importantly, unable to interfere the amazing process of repair and restoration begins. The human growth hormone (HGH) is anabolic which means it promotes growth. It’s therefore at its highest levels during childhood and adolescence and is responsible for, among other things bone development and muscle formation.

While there are other physiological stimulants for HGH release, arguably the best natural trigger is good old sleep. remsleep

During REM sleep HGH is released via the pituitary gland and gets to work. The duties of this hormone include retention of calcium, necessary for bone density and the mobilization of fat. Other functions include protein synthesis (muscle mass), growth and repair of internal organs, pancreatic regulation and stimulation of the immune system.

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Four hours a night may have been sufficient for an intellectual athlete such as Churchill here but if your body is your main tool in life you’re more than entitled to double that!

Next time you feel like hitting the sack before sunset - Indulge yourself!