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The Circadian Rhythm of Growth Hormone

Growth hormone and sleep

Are you in tune with your internal clock? We all have one. In general, we can “feel” when it’s morning, noon, or night even without knowing what time it is or being able to see the sun’s position in the sky. Some can even identify the time within 30 minutes of the actual time. It doesn’t matter if you’re a night owl or an early bird, our bodies tend to stick to a 24-hour pattern of events known as its circadian rhythm.

Involved in our circadian rhythm are our hormones, such as cortisol, testosterone, and growth hormone. As part of a normal circadian rhythm, cortisol is highest first thing in the morning, and testosterone peaks shortly after that. Growth hormone, however, peaks overnight while we are asleep. Unlike the strong ties to our circadian rhythm that are present with cortisol and testosterone, growth hormone patterns are more easily disrupted by poor sleep, diet, and stress.

A hormone like cortisol will still follow its 24-hour pattern even if we don’t get a good night’s sleep, but our only daily release of growth hormone is skipped without a long, deep sleep. In fact, growth hormone is released in pulses about every 2 hours, equating to 4 releases during a typical 8 hours. Waking up to go to the bathroom or for any other reason interrupts one of those 2-hour blocks, and only being lightly asleep due to stress or not “shutting off our brains“ means we end up with less GH.

Diet’s importance is linked to the structure of GH. As a peptide hormone, we need amino acids to create GH. Hence, it’s paramount to have high levels of the key amino acids involved in forming GH – arginine, lysine, ornithine, and glycine.

In case you have not noticed, there’s a clear opportunity for supplementation here. Ingredients such as GABA and Ashwagandha promote relaxation and the ability to de-stress. Melatonin is a precursor to serotonin – a hormone that induces sleep, and the ingredient, phosphatidylserine, enhances sleep quality. Finally, a supplement is the easiest way to increase the key amino acids necessary for producing GH. As a total package for sleep, growth, and recovery, look no further than Kodiak’s Anabolic Coma, complete with each of these ingredients and more.