The benefits of sleep according to Carly Thornton and Luke Sandoe

benefits of sleep

Carly Thornton and Luke Sandoe are a fitness power couple. Both are award-winning bodybuilders and founders of their own training company Elite Body and Fitness. It’s no surprise that they have been named as Britain’s ‘Best Built Couple’.

Both Carly and Luke spend a great deal of time working on their bodies, so who better to ask about how to get fit for summer? We asked for their advice, and their answer was simple: sleep.

Carly says…

April is a very busy time for personal trainers. Now that winter has well and truly left (hopefully!) everyone is looking to shed the winter fat, get fit, gain muscle and add some definition to their bodies. It’s great to see people making the most of the lighter mornings and evenings, as it seems to motivate people to get up and out to the gym before or after work.

However, many of our clients come to us immediately after work, meaning they have just been sat at a desk for eight hours. This in itself can lead to the body becoming misaligned and imbalanced, which means that some areas are going to be weaker than others.

After getting the body moving and the blood pumping with a workout, going to sleep is a chance for your body to settle back into its natural position. If you miss sleep, your body has no chance to recover and realign, meaning any deterioration only gets worse.

Sleep can also increase your appetite, which can seriously inhibit your gym progress. We work hard with our clients to ensure their diet reflects what they want to get out of their workouts, depending on whether they want to add muscle mass, get lean or build power, but this goes out the window if unhealthy food cravings get too much.

Sleep deprivation releases hormones which tell us to seek out high energy food — usually food with high levels of sugar. So if you’re struggling to stick to your healthy eating routine, the simplest answer may simply to spend a little more time recovering in bed.

Luke says…

We often get asked about whether it’s best to work out in the mornings or in the evenings, but there is no universal correct answer — it really depends on the individual. There are numerous examples of research into when you should be working out — some say it’s best to get the metabolism going first thing in the morning, while others suggest that it’s easier to make gains in the evening.

What we recommend, however, is that you work out at whatever time you feel most active and motivated. We only ask that you don’t exercise at times when it compromises on rest and recovery.

carly thornton

If you’re trying to add muscle mass, losing sleep can be a real issue. 80% of the human growth hormone (HGH) that your body naturally produces is generated when you are asleep. This hormone plays a key part in repairing and building muscles. This means that losing an hour of sleep to wake up at the crack of dawn and hit the gym will stop your body from recovering from your last workout and possibly stop you completing all your sets.

If I could give one piece of advice to someone trying to get into shape for the summer, it would be this: consider all the options when setting out a new training plan. This includes exercise, nutrition and, crucially, rest.

To get in touch with Carly and Luke about all the packages they offer, go to www.elitebodyandfitness.com.