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Bodybuilding and SLEEPING PILLS – an essential recovery guide

Blue_Shine

Member
Member
Hey all!

This piece was inspired by a conversation I had with a couple of pro bodybuilders from the EU circuits, which clued me in as to the utter misconception regarding this issue. I recommend ANY professional/AAS-using athlete know this information as It may save your career/progress.

Disclaimer: This article may not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice nor is it this author's intent to dispense such advice. Any psychoactive medications (sleeping pills included in this category) must be considered with the at most care and consideration in individuals supplementing with PED.

I promise to keep it as simple as possible, since some governing principles in neurology are... Complex :)

BASIC principles in neurophysiology and neuroanatomy

The brain, anatomically, is not one structure, it is many. I will address two structures: The neocortex and the brainstem. The neocortex is the outermost “wrinkled” appearing structure encapsulating most of the inner brain structures. It takes part in some basic functions such as memory, sleep, learning, but also houses all of the higher CNS functions, including but not limited to facial recognition, handwriting, language skills, coordinated muscle control and sensation interpretation as well as personality and reasoning ability.
The brainstem is a much more primitive structure, and governs autonomic functions (that you cannot consciously control) such as heart rate, blood pressure, reflexes, the sympathetic nervous system, sleep and many more.
Damaged neocortex (e.g. a coma): You are not conscious.
Damaged brainstem (e.g. complete transverse neck fracture): You die.

BASIC principles in muscle recovery and sleep

Simply put, sleep is important for muscle recovery and recuperation secondarily to induced stress (as in the gym) to promote growth and replenishment. Having said that, in order to attain such regenerative capacities the body has to “slip” into a lower state of consciousness in the neocortex. Another paramount principle in sleep induction and maintenance is the body's ability to switch from using the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system (i.e. From “fight or flight mode” to “rest and digest mode”)
This combination is of tremendous magnitude with respect to sleep and recovery. You have to have both of these events occurring, in both of these brain structures. E.g. you can be dead tired, but with enough stimulants your sympathetic nervous system would get in your way of sleeping.

BASIC principles in the pharmacology of sleeping pills

There are obviously numerous types and subtypes of sleeping pills (=sedato-hypnotics) that promote sleep. Even though mechanisms of action may vary – the principle is common: Induce and maintain sleep by reducing the electrical activity of the neocortex, forcing a reduced conscious state and sleep. Notice these medication hardly exert any significant effect on the brainstem relative to the neocortex in this respect.

BASIC principles in the pharmacology of stimulants

Many stimulants also share a similar principle amongst themselves. By increasing the baseline activity of the sympathetic nervous system in the brainstem signalling pathway or downstream of it, placing us in a relatively higher “fight or flight mode” that inherently increases our heart rate, blood pressure, and mobilizes energy for the upcoming demand the body may face, even if there is no danger. Stimulants like caffeine, ephedra, nicotine, Yohimbine and even Ritalin, cocaine and adrenalin to name a few, work in these manners.

Sleeping pills, sleep and muscular recovery

Since it is a given one must sleep in order to obtain muscle growth, recovery and the likes, it makes sense that a bodybuilder having a hard time sleeping would opt to use a sleeping pill in the hopes that he/she is getting the sleep they need.
This is a problem if the individual may be supplementing with stimulants. Why? Consider that the sleeping pill induces sleep by reducing conscious electrical activity in the neocortex, but the stimulant that person supplement with has not yet cleared!
Result: A neocortical sleep state with increased sympathetic activity in the brainstem. You may be sleeping, but your body is hyped up.
This is like trying to take your car to be serviced while driving at the same time. By DEFINITION muscular recovery cannot optimally take place when the sympathetic nervous system dominates.

So what the hell do I do?

I offer no medical advice, albeit I would provide an observation.
If your inability to sleep stems from increased brainstem activity - using a sleeping pill would cause this dissociation by which one system is stimulated while another is sedated.
However, if your insomnia arises on the background of an emotional state such as stress, which is governed mostly by the neocortex - a sleeping pill may not cause the same problem.
I would leave it to you to conclude the rhetoric here.


A word about marijuana: The mechanism by which cannabinoids induce sleep is distinct and differs from medications discussed in this article, possessing a different relationship with sleep related recovery. That would be a potential point of discussion on its own right, beyond the scope of this article.

Thank you for reading.

References:
Since this is not a purely academic forum, and this article doesn't debate new research, I had elected to omit this portion and would be happy to provide references on demand, due to time restraints. Principles discussed here are widely available in professional medical literature, as well.
 
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RedMorkai

Active member
If I wake up in the middle of the night, a little bit of marijuana goes a long way to put me back to sleep.

Awesome write up as usual, thanks!
 

44YOGearHead

Active member
Member
I'm using a lil hemp/thc oil vape to help me sleep. Sleep entire night now. Problem is I vape all the time. Killer for training pains as well. Must put down vaporizer... fuckers stuck to my palm.


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Blue_Shine

Member
Member
I'm using a lil hemp/thc oil vape to help me sleep. Sleep entire night now. Problem is I vape all the time. Killer for training pains as well. Must put down vaporizer... fuckers stuck to my palm.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Vaping is the way to go, I own 4 vapes - it's the ideal delivery system :)

Do you need to vape "all the time" to sleep?
 

jjboyd303

Member
Member
Heavy indica bro heavy indica


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fa2aa5216296a9d05c0d4d83ddd8c654.jpg
 

sherbs

Member
Yeah - I'm a big fan of THC/CBD as a sleep aid.

Never did get much pain relief from it but it did make me care a bit less about my aches & pains. I don't really enjoy being high from it but can't argue that it helps a lot with getting a good nights sleep!
 

Blue_Shine

Member
Member
I still prefer a dab rig to my pens when doing concentrate. Pens are nice when out enjoying nature though.

Oh no doubt, dab and shatter are definitely gamechangers, but pharmacologically speaking vaping would be superior.

Having said that, I'm a fan of dabs no goddamn doubt about it :)
 

Locman12

Member
Member
I still prefer a dab rig to my pens when doing concentrate. Pens are nice when out enjoying nature though.

Same, although I own a few vape pens, if I'm home, I'm torching a rig. I keep the vaping for when I'm away from home for a while and need to sneak one real quick.


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DT117

Member
Member
Unfortunately I can't have THC in my system in my field of work which fucking blows. Used it for a long time and miss it. I have no trouble falling asleep, but its sleeping past my internal alarm which is 6 am that gets me. So, if on weekends i got to bed around midnight or a little later, when i wake up for my 4 am piss i'll take 1, 25 mg benadryl which is perfect to keep me sleeping til around 8. I don't wake up hazy and feel well rested.
 

Blue_Shine

Member
Member
Unfortunately I can't have THC in my system in my field of work which fucking blows. Used it for a long time and miss it. I have no trouble falling asleep, but its sleeping past my internal alarm which is 6 am that gets me. So, if on weekends i got to bed around midnight or a little later, when i wake up for my 4 am piss i'll take 1, 25 mg benadryl which is perfect to keep me sleeping til around 8. I don't wake up hazy and feel well rested.

That's a good point to make. benadryl (Diphenhydramine) essentially works also on the neocortex, and actually its sedative effect is a side effect, but it's so effective that for example pilots love taking it to sleep before flight.

Good point made, budd :)
 

Blue_Shine

Member
Member
Hey, it's worth a shot brother. Unfortunately apple charges for this app lol, but still in my opinion worth it as it works for me

I'll just allocate some money from my "hoes and blow" fund and move some resources around. Make it work. I could always use that money I put away for court bail, but to be honest I'm pretty sure it's a matter of time before I'm arrested for something like publishing a condom-tampon size conversation chart, so better keep that money on hand lol

Just a guess...
 

[9oNe6][email protected]

Senior Member
Member
I'll just allocate some money from my "hoes and blow" fund and move some resources around. Make it work. I could always use that money I put away for court bail, but to be honest I'm pretty sure it's a matter of time before I'm arrested for something like publishing a condom-tampon size conversation chart, so better keep that money on hand lol

Just a guess...

Hahahah !! Your right !
 

October

Member
Member
I like to get a good session in with the wife. I must sleep well afterward, at least that's what she keeps telling me. I always feel rested the next day. Is it the cardio or nut busting....? Don't care, it's a good way to go.
 
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