Carly Thornton and Luke Sandoe Guest Blog: The massive benefits of sleep

benefits of sleep

Elite Body and Fitness coaches Carly Thornton and Luke Sandoe understand what it takes to get in shape. We asked them to share their advice on getting shredded this summer and their answer was: Start with sleep.


It’s a busy time for personal trainers in April. Everyone is looking to make those gains in muscle and definition, stripping that winter fat away. But while it’s great to see people enthusiastic and making the most of the lighter mornings and nights, it’s not always ideal to see people wobbling into the gym at 6am in the morning or 9.30pm at night.


Whether you prefer morning training or evening training is down to you. There’s been plenty of research on the best time to workout – some say it’s great to get the metabolism going in the morning, others that a post-work session is the way to make gains. But we always recommend that you exercise when you feel at your best and are at your most motivated. They key, though, is not to exercise when it compromises on rest and recovery.

Missing sleep is a real problem when trying to add mass, for example. Around 80% of the human growth hormone (HGH) produced naturally by the body is generated during sleep. HGH plays a key role in the repair and growth of muscles so losing an hour of sleep at the crack of dawn to hit the weights will both prevent the body from recovering from the last workout and quite possibly prevent a lifter from completing all their sets.

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Many of our clients come to train after hours sat at a desk doing their day job. This in itself can cause for the body to become imbalanced, misaligned and weak in some areas. After a workout has got the blood pumping and the body moving again, going to bed is a chance for their body to settle into its natural position. Miss sleep and the cycle of deterioration simply gets worse.

One other side effect of lost sleep is increased appetite. We work hard with our clients on tailoring the right diet for their needs – if they are trying to add muscle mass, increase power or get lean, etc.

That all goes out the window, though, if their bodies are hit with cravings for calorific foods. Sleep deprivation actually releases hormones in the brain that tell us to seek out high energy foods, so the simple solution is to make a little bit more time for recovering in bed.


My advice for anyone trying to get in shape for the summer would be to consider all the options when setting out on a new training plan. That includes exercise, nutrition and, just as importantly, rest.

Carly Thornton is a Figure/Bodyfitness athlete. Luke Sandoe is a super-heavyweight bodybuilder. Together they also run Elite Body and Fitness personal training and have been billed as Britain’s ‘Best Built Couple’.


Carly and Luke choose to sleep on a ‘Mammoth’ Mammoth mattress.


To contact Carly and Luke regarding all packages they offer please go to

Elite Body & Fitness