The Power of 8-8-8

Sleep for Your Health & Growth

In Chinese culture, the number 8 is considered to be very lucky; in fact, it sounds similar to the word which means ‘prosper’ or ‘wealth’. That being said, 8-8-8 should be a very good combination of numbers. That might explains why the Beijing Olympic opening ceremony was held on 8/8/08!

You could apply 8-8-8 in your life so that you could live a healthy and prosperous life. It is your time management – simply means you should spent 8 hours of work, 8 hours of play, and 8 hours of sleep. We all know that most people do need to work 8 hours a day to be financially stable. Meanwhile, you should spend 8 hours for quality time with friends, family, play sports or working out. Lastly, you should get around 8 hours of good sleep daily for good health.

Most of you who read this blog are somewhat on the path of getting in shape, or else you would not even bother to go to my site. You’re working out hard to transform your body, but lack of sleep will stunt your progress. I have heard many people who workout intensely, eat healthy but spend too much time with their career that they sacrifice their sleeping time. As a result, they get sick. So, I will talk more on the importance of 8 hours of sleep since I’ve seen more of the lack of sleeping pattern in today’s modern society.

Sleep & Muscle Building

After you spend an hour or so working your muscles out and fantasizing about the muscles you are building you should also be aware that your body needs substantial “recovery time” from the workout. This “recovery time” is approximately 8 hours of sleep each night and that is each and every night not 10 hours tonight and 6 tomorrow because that does not work. Your body needs adequate sleep every night because rest cannot be stored and saved for later, it is something you must engage in every night.

Additionally, all sleep is not made equal. There are five stages of sleep and if you are like most people leading stress filled lives you never make it past stage 1 or 2. Because of this you wake up feeling as tired and drained of energy as when you went to bed. If this is the type of sleep you are getting then it will not be overly productive in helping you gain and build muscle while you are asleep. On the other hand, if you can practice deep breathing, meditation, or other stress relieving activities before you go to sleep then you will more than likely be able to reach stages 4 and 5 where your body can heal, repair, and grow. These are the stages of sleep you need to reach if you are really interested in muscle gain.

Deep sleep is important because during this phase the body is able to repair the muscles that were torn or broken during the workout. Also, while you are in deep sleep your body also begins the process of Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand. During this process, known as SAID, your body builds your muscles bigger and stronger so that when you workout again your muscles will be ready
An additional benefit of this, which not many people know, is how your body gets the energy to perform these muscle building activities while you rest. The answer is from fat. That is right, while you are in deep sleep and your body is working hard to repair and build your muscles it uses your fat stores to do so. So, not only are you building muscle but you are also burning fat simply by getting a proper amount of sleep, which most people won’t complain about anyway.

In addition to that, Yahoo Health News just released an article few days ago that linking lack of sleep with the risk of coronary disease.

A lack of sleep apparently can increase your risk for stroke and heart attack.

That’s the finding of British researchers who analyzed data collected from more than 470,000 people in eight countries, including the United States.

“If you sleep less than six hours per night and have disturbed sleep, you stand a 48 percent greater chance of developing or dying from heart disease and a 15 percent greater chance of developing or dying of a stroke,” Dr. Francesco Cappuccio, of the Warwick Medical School in England and a co-author of the research, said in a news release from the University of Warwick.

“The trend for late nights and early mornings is actually a ticking time bomb for our health so you need to act now to reduce your risk of developing these life-threatening conditions,” he added.

Dr. Michelle Miller, who co-authored the study with Cappuccio, explained in the news release that “chronic short sleep produces hormones and chemicals in the body which increase the risk of developing heart disease and strokes, and other conditions like high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes and obesity.”

The study was published Feb. 8 in the European Heart Journal.

“There is an expectation in today’s society to fit more into our lives,” Cappuccio said. “The whole work/life balance struggle is causing too many of us to trade in precious sleeping time to ensure we complete all the jobs we believe are expected of us.”

“But in doing so,” he said, “we are significantly increasing the risk of suffering a stroke or developing cardiovascular disease resulting in, for example, heart attacks.”

Getting about seven hours of sleep a night protects your health and reduces your risk for developing chronic disease, he advised.

With that in mind, manage your time so that you have 8 hours of work, 8 hours of play and 8 hours of sleep for a healthy and prosperous life.