What's the proper amount of sleep? – MMA Gym Buford

What’s the proper amount of sleep? – MMA Gym Buford

Sleep is one of the most important but, overlooked parts in any training regimen regardless of whether your at a MMA Gym training MMA, BJJ, Muay Thai or doing Fitness only programs such as Energy Boxing, GFX or Cross Fit.

I have numerous students ask me about training intensity, techniques, supplements and diet but, very few students in the MMA Gym ask about sleep.  However, the proper amount of sleep is absolutely crucial to having good recovery.

When you sleep your body recharges and recovers helping you cope with stress, build immune efficiency, think more clearly and perform at higher levels on and off the mat.  With too little sleep the bodies ability to think clearly and fight off disease is decreased leading to reduced training and eventually death.  Okay, I know that sounds a little dramatic but in reality the old saying, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” will come true sooner if you decide to skip too much sleep.

How much sleep you need varies from person to person.  Instead of breaking down all the technical mumbo jumbo, I’ll give you a simple general rule that I live by in my MMA Gym.

In general the body sleeps in 90 minute sleep cycles.  Each sleep cycle consists of 4 stages of Non-REM sleep followed by REM Sleep.  The body needs to go through a number of cycles to recover properly.  The number of cycles varies from person to person and largely depends on how hard your training at your MMA Gym.  For example, I sleep 7.5 hours or 5 sleep cycles when doing a regular amount of training (10 hours a week) but, when I step up my intensity for competition season and train more (16+ hours a week), I need 9 hours of sleep or 6 cycles.  I think this is good for adults but, I schedule my children much different.  My 11 year is scheduled to sleep 9 hours in the off season and 10.5 when he’s training hard and my 2 year old is scheduled to sleep 8 sleep cycles (not including her nap) or 12 hours.  She’s not in the MMA Gym yet so her sleep cycles don’t vary.

It’s important to wake up at the end of a sleep cycle so, that you feel well rested and energized.  If you fail to time your sleep properly and wake up in stage 3 or 4 of Non-REM sleep, you will awaken feeling groggy and unrested.  Also, remember to account for how long it takes you to fall asleep when creating your schedule.  This also varies from person to person but, the average is 14 minutes.

In closing, it’s important to train hard, have a good diet, supplement well and know plenty of techniques but, don’t forget about the importance of sleep.

Whether, your in a MMA Gym doing Muay Thai or BJJ or doing Fitness Only like Cross Fit, Energy Boxing or GFX remember to get the proper amount of sleep to maximize your results!



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