Sleep and Muscle Recovery: Some of the Best Things in Life are Free

Ok, so this old proverb means that things that cost you money should not be prioritized over free things that could be worth so much more (like your health). Those free things in your life are in the end, worth so much more than anything money can buy you.

In a fitness and sports world where everyone is selling advice on the best diets and workouts, equipment and supplements, we sometimes forget that something as basic as “sleep” is an important component of our health. Matter of fact, sleep impacts our lives in a ton of ways.

We’ve all heard that getting our ‘beauty rest’ makes us look better, right? Haven’t you also noticed that it’s hard to focus or be in a good mood be when you haven’t slept properly too? Now, there is scientific proof that sleep affects a person’s outer appearances: Michigan Medicine at the University of Michigan has published their study results.

This said…Have you ever thought about how lack of sleep can affect muscle recovery? While you may think that the harder you work out will help you become the next Michael Jordan or Roger Federer, burning the candle at both ends might actually be doing more harm than good.

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Many of us go to work “sleep drunk” recovering from the lack of sleep the night before or even worse…several nights or lack of sleep. For some, they don’t even know what’s its like to get enough regular sleep and to be “sleep sober”. Did you know that studies showed that poor judgment due to lack of sleep were culprits in the Chernobyl and the Space Shuttle Challenger disastrous events? Click here to read more

Sometimes it literally hits you in the head before you understand the value of sleep, like Adrianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, found out one day.

News Flash 1: It takes 2-3 days to recover from severe sleep deprivation


If our brains are critical to body health, what happens to our muscle recovery without sleep? Rest isn’t just needed when athletes are not exerting energy…it enables proper muscle recovery. Sleep and muscle growth go hand-in-hand. What do I mean? When we are asleep several things are happening. Our Endocrine system is hard at work producing hormones that regulate our muscle growth, recovery, metabolism, and number of other very important things.

I’m always talking about Stress and Stress Thresholds to my clients. Lack of sleep affects this too in your muscles. Lack of sleep body stress ultimately lowers our muscle stress thresholds, which in turn make us more vulnerable to injuries and lessons our abilities to heal and recover from those injuries.

News Flash 2: Injuries can prevent quality of sleep too


Yes, nagging pain and discomfort can keep you up and disrupt a good night’s sleep. Taking care of your body in order to get a good night’s sleep is just as important. It’s a cycle of self-care that is many times overlooked in sport and life. We’ve all been there…you can’t quite get in a comfortable position and want the pain to subside so you can just fall asleep.  Might be a good time to get in with me for a tune-up, huh?

Don’t take this blog entry the wrong way.  You can still work your but off and take care of yourself.  Just make time to work efficiently toward your goals. There’s a great app my friend, Michael Brungardt, told me about that I use called “Headspace” that even has a sleep meditation component in it. It does wonders to help put you to sleep….just ask Brent Barry – Zzzzz.  Life as a NBA analyst must be hard work. Either that or he was up too late practicing guitar!


Sweet Dreams, drock


Want to learn more about improving your functional movement and sports  performance?  Then follow Dianne on her blog

Dianne Rockefeller is a Athletic Performance Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Muscle Activation Specialist, MAT Certified Jumpstart Trainer, National Academy of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist, Certified Myoskeletal Therapist, Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner, and Certified Cupping Therapist. She treats athletes of all levels, from youth to professional, ALL sports. She brings a very unique perspective to manual therapy utilizing her experience with motion analysis and sport. Her blend of advanced integrated skills along with practical and rehabilitation experience deliver exceptional results. Dianne is a self-proclaimed scholar of “Applied Performance Manual Therapies”. Contact Dianne at or 210-973-4848.

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