The subject of overtraining is frequently treated in a legitimately tapered sense, with only the ratio of work to recovery deliberated on. These are the two guiding factors in disturbing homeostasis and driving adaptation, but, in the end, recovery is multifactorial and is influenced by much more than simply time off between workouts. Aside from the work to rest ratio, more than a few factors contribute to recovery, the most significant being acceptable sleep, hydration, and appropriate intake of protein, and energy.
It should be instinctual, but trainees and instructors often overlook the significance of sleep during periods of augmented physical demand and stress. While restricted in scope, the scientific literature on this subject matter does backup the ensuing observations:
Absence of sufficient sleep during recovery results in a decrease in competitive capacity, diminished willpower, and lack of tolerance for intensity in training.
Absence of sufficient sleep undesirably disturbs mood state, leads to a larger level of professed fatigue, encourages depression, and can encourage slight confusion.
Absence of satisfactory sleep can decrease the aptitude of the physiological instruments that facilitate adaptation to the strain of training. Quite a few physiological changes transpire during sleep. Among them, hormonal discharge is conceivably the most important for recovery from physical effort.
An upsurge in anabolic (muscle-building) hormone concentrations and a reduction in catabolic (muscle-wasting) hormone concentrations occurs during the sleep cycle. Quantities of the anabolic hormone testosterone start to rise upon falling asleep, crowning at roughly the occurrence of the first REM, and persist at that level until awakening. This implies that sleeping smaller periods hinders the recovery contributions conceivable from testosterone. Another anabolic hormone, somatotropin, or human growth hormone, also has a distinguishing emission pattern during sleep. Just after deep sleep starts, growth hormone concentrations begin to increase, leading to a constant peak enduring 1.5 to 3.5 hours.
A chief function of growth hormone is the alleviation of the negative effects of the catabolic hormone cortisol. A disturbance or restriction of the sleep period will cut the beneficial effects of these significant anabolic hormones. An average of eight hours of sleep, particularly during very demanding training will aid in recovery. In essence, the longer the period of sleep, the superior the quality of recovery.