By Don Laubenthal, M.S., CSCS
Professor – Exercise Science


 In the broad scheme of recovery strategies, sleep is one of the foundational components to recovering and making progress in the weight room. Sleep is also one of the first recovery strategies to be sacrificed because of a busy schedule, late nights, or the results of chronic stress. All of us struggle to sleep from time to time, but the effects of long-term sleep deprivation can be shocking. For example, a lack of sleep can result in the following effects:


Damage Done by Sleep Deprivation

 Decreased Protein Synthesis in the muscle.

A decrease in testosterone, human growth hormone, and insulin like growth factor 1 production.

An increase in Cortisol production (catabolic hormone).

Fat gain.

Impaired glucose metabolism.

Increased risk for Type II Diabetes.

Poor decision making.

Reduced cognitive abilities.

Poor food choices. We have a greater tendency to eat high sugar foods when we are tired.

Loss of motivation.

All this damage can occur if you are not getting enough quality sleep. This means if your sleep is broken or the amount of sleep you need is reduced, you can begin to experience these negative effects caused by sleep deprivation.

Sleep is so important that is has been called the most effective performance enhancing drug we can use legally. So why is it so hard to get the recommended sleep each night? One reason is that we live in a time where many of us rise early and work late. In a single day we will pack in intense training, a full day of work and/or school, a family life, a social life, and we try to squeeze a little relaxation in at the very end of the day. We hit the bed and our minds are still racing, our anxiety levels are high, and our body does not want to relax. It cannot relax because it is literally in a fight or flight mode due to the extremely busy and over stimulating schedule that we try to keep. It becomes difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. During the day, we become tired so we start consuming mega doses of caffeine to stay alert and awake, which can then lead to more sleep issues. This is a typical vicious cycle that many of us experience every day.

The quality of our sleep is perhaps more important than the length of sleep, but we must achieve a deep, quality sleep to fully recover. To better understand this concept, we need to look more closely at the stages of sleep.


Stages of Sleep

Stage 1 - Non-REM Sleep

  • Heart rate and breathing rate slow.
  • Muscles begin to relax.


Stage 2 – Non-REM Sleep

  • Heart rate and breathing slow down further.
  • Body temperature drops.
  • Brain waves spike up and down.


Stages 3 & 4 – Non-REM Sleep – Known as Delta Sleep, these are the deepest stages of sleep and they are critical for recovery.

  • Heart rate and breathing reach their lowest rate.
  • Body is fully relaxed.
  • Increased blood flow to the muscles.
  • Human Growth Hormone, Testosterone, and IGF – 1 released.
  • Muscle and bone repair and recovery.
  • Immune system is strengthened.


Stage 5 – REM Sleep

  • Rapid eye movement.
  • Heart rate and breathing increases.
  • Body does not move.
  • Brain activity increases.


The important consideration here is to have uninterrupted sleep so we can achieve quality sleep. Although the recommendations for adults are 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night, I am a firm believer that not everyone needs that many hours of sleep, but everyone needs quality sleep. If you are constantly waking up during the night or fail to achieve the deep stages (Stages 3 & 4) of sleep, your ability to recover and make progress will be significantly reduced.

Although there are many reasons for poor sleep quality and many things we can all do to improve our sleep, such as shutting off social media, dimming lights and mentally relaxing for an hour before sleep, reading a book, etc., there is a new and amazing, all natural sleep aid supplement that will do wonders for your sleep quality. Max Effort Muscle’s SLEEP is a new product that will help you fall asleep and stay asleep. It is not habit forming, contains no harmful chemicals, and it works great! So how does it work?'


Secrets to SLEEP

Anxiety is a major sleep disrupter, and we often suffer from anxiety and do not even realize it because we are so used to having it. If you struggle to fall asleep and you cannot get your brain to calm down (racing thoughts), or you wake up in the middle of the night and cannot stop thinking about work or other stressful parts of life, than you are dealing with anxiety. Max Effort Muscle SLEEP includes the follow ingredients that are known to reduce anxiety and improve sleep.


L – Theonine

  • Regulates inhibitory neurotransmitters, Serotonin and Dopamine, which creates a calming effect.
  • Also know as an anxiolytic, which is a substance the reduces anxiety.


Valerian Root Extract

  • An herb that reduces anxiety, has a calming effect, and promotes sleep. Very powerful but non-habit forming.


5 – Hydroxytryptophan

  • An amino acid that is used to produce serotonin. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders.


Another sleep disrupter is caused by an inability to calm our body at night. If you lie in bed and feel like you are not tired and cannot find a comfortable position, your body may be tense from work or life related stress, too much caffeine, or just an overactive sympathetic nervous system. Max Effort Muscle SLEEP contains some great products to calm our body.


Magnesium Citrate

  • Calms the nerves and relaxes the body. Very effective.


Valerian Root Extract

  • As previously mentioned, this herb relaxes the body.


L – Theanine

  • Also has a calming effect on the body.


Our body naturally produces hormones (serotonin and dopamine) that aid in promoting sleep and help us maintain our normal circadian rhythm (night and day). If we are not producing enough of these hormones, we will develop broken sleep patterns, along with depression, anxiety, and sleep deprivation. Max Effort Muscle SLEEP contains potent and natural products to stimulate the production and release of our sleep hormones.


 L – Tryptophan

  • Is converted to serotonin in the brain, which improves mood and promotes sleep.


5 – Hydroxytryptophan

  • An amino acid that produces serotonin, which enhances mood and promotes sleep.


L – Theanine

  • Regulates serotonin and dopamine which promotes sleep.



  • Produced by the brain in response to darkness, so melatonin helps us maintain our circadian rhythm. It also promotes sleep, possibly increases Human Growth Hormone production, and reduces seasonal depression.


Improve your sleep and improve your performance in the gym, at work, at school, or in your sport. Max Effort Muscle SLEEP can make a world of difference for you, and all you have to do is take one or two capsules at least a 30 to 60 minutes before you go to bed. Also, unlike a lot of sleep aids, you will have no problem waking up in the morning and hitting the gym or going to work. No zombie aftereffects and you will feel alert and ready to take on the day. Try Max Effort Muscle SLEEP today!

Our sleep is often disrupted due to anxiety, an overactive central nervous system, or even an imbalance in the hormones that help us relax and sleep. Max Effort Muscle’s SLEEP is formulated to target these specific areas that disrupt our sleep, and this is accomplished with all natural and safe products that work well and are not addictive (like many pharmaceutical sleep aids).


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