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A lot of people underestimated how important sleep is to the muscle growth. Many people are influenced by the main stream ideal that sleeping less or no sleep is a symbol of toughness. What many people aren’t aware is the effect of sleep on the muscle gain and general health. Sleeping for 7-9 hours per night is crucial, especially if you are looking to change body composition, increase muscle mass and or if you want to be ready for your personal training session the next day.
What you don’t know is if you sleep short, you will gain weight. Just by reducing sleep several hours each night, your body will have decreased concentrations of satiety-signaling hormone leptin and increased levels of the hunger-instigating hormone ghrelin. You will loose hunger control, cry famine in the midst of plenty, and going specifically for sweets, and carbohydrate and fat rich foods.
What’s more surprising, science experiments done on the weight loss programs have found weight loss came from different places for people who slept for four five hours a night versus for people who had eight hours of sleep. When given just five and a half hours of sleep, 70 percent of the pounds lost on participants came from muscle, however, the group offered eight and half hours time in bed had a far more desirable outcome as 50 percent of weight loss coming from fat while preserving muscle.
Aside from being groggy the next day, another pitfall of not getting enough quality sleep is that it affects your efforts in the gym. The brutal truth is the less you sleep, the less energy you feel, and you are less likely to exercise in real world settings. While you may be able to carry out your daily routines on a few hours of sleep, the body fatigue leads to lower levels of physical activity, slows your respond to stimuli and dampens your motivation to workout. Having a good night sleep will result faster movement next day which could made a huge difference when playing a sport.
Sleep is especially important for active individuals, energy consumption is often very high and bodies require sufficient rest in order to replenish energy. Studies conducted on athletes have discovered having less than 8 hours of sleep a night, especially with less than six hours of sleep a night leads to a significant drop in physical endurance by 10 to 30 percent, reduced aerobic output, decreased peak and sustained muscle strength and a scale down in vertical jump height and limb extension force. Even the ability for the body to cool itself during physical exertion through sweating is impaired by sleep loss. Many people also underestimate the power of post performance sleep, it speeds up physical recovery, stimulates muscle repair and helps restock cellular energy.
The shorter you sleep, the shorter your life. You don’t need a full night of total sleep deprivation to inflict a measurable impact on your heart, one night of modest sleep reduction for just one or two hours will promptly speed the contracting rate of a person’s heart, and these experiments were conducted in young, fit individuals, all of whom started with an otherwise healthy cardiovascular system just hours before. Physical fitness proves no match for a short night of sleep, it affords no resistance.
long-term sleep loss or sleep insufficiency is at a higher risk of developing
So, when should you go to bed? Only you can determine this for yourself. For most people, this can be discovered on a long vacation without any responsibilities that require an early wake-up time or a late bedtime. Then you can go to bed and wake up whenever your body wants to. Also, you should avoid caffeine or other stimulants, especially in the afternoon to see how your body feels. You will need to do this for several days before you can begin to detect your body rhythm. When is a good time for you to go to bed and fall asleep easily? What time do you wake up naturally and feel good? When you have answers to questions like these, then you will know your natural schedule.
Teenagers and young adults (early twenties) trend toward being night owls, which is caused by hormones. Typically, this effect disappears as we approach thirty years old, and later, especially after reaching sixty years old, most people notice that their sleep schedule moves toward that of a morning lark. This again is normal, but scientists still have no clear explanation for why it occurs.
It turns out, this is a very important question and, like your ideal bedtime, you have to find the duration of sleep that is best for you. No one else can tell you or determine this for you. Not surprisingly, the distribution curve for the number of hours of sleep that each person needs also follows a bell shape, with the majority of people falling into the bell region between seven and nine hours. At the tail ends are those who need less than seven hours or more than nine hours.
However, the requirement for a good night’s rest is actually even more complex than simply how many hours we sleep, and scientists are working very hard to figure out how to define this. For a very long time, eight hours of sleep has been accepted by the general population as optimal, and that still holds true for most people.
Fu, Yinghui. Sleep To Thrive: The Everyday Secret To Successful Aging. Kevin Barrett Kane, 2020.
Walker, Matthew P. Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams. Scribner, an Imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2018.