By Adrian Bryant

How Exactly Does Lack of Sleep Impact Muscle Building

sleep build muscle fast

You have probably already heard the expression "sleep is for the weak". However, this expression is far from being true. In fact, it would be truer to say "lack of sleep makes you weak"

If you are trying to build muscle then you must know that spending countless hours at the gym and eating protein-packed food isn't going to cut it. Everyone who has gone that road, and successfully ended it, know you need to get enough sleep too.

But why is sleep important and how exactly the lack of it impacts muscle building? Read on to find out.

What happens when you sleep?

When you sleep, your body doesn't simply shut off for 4-to-8 hours. On the contrary, it is the time when your body is very active in restoring energy, consolidating memories, and so much more.

During different sleep stages, your body is releasing different hormones, all of which, together, contribute to your hormonal balance → an important element of physical fitness. Sleep also helps to keep the cortisol (stress hormones) lower

While you are sleeping your immune system is releasing a type of inflammation-fighting protein (cytokines), which helps your body recover from injuries and your muscles from soreness in the optimal time period.

When You Don't Sleep Enough,

Missing out on your optimal sleep time can have a negative influence on your muscle progress and performance at the gym. Here is why:

1. Raised Cortisol Levels

We already mentioned an optimal amount of shut-eye can keep your cortisol levels at check. Cortisol acts as an opposite of testosterone and other muscle growth hormones.

Prolonged periods of sleep deprivation can lead to consistently elevated cortisol levels, which can really sabotage your gym efforts.

2. Lower Growth Hormone Levels

You are going to the gym because you want your muscles to grow but how can that be done if your growth hormone is not at its best? The levels of growth hormone are at their best approximately two hours after you fall asleep.

The high levels of this hormone increase the ability of your muscles to absorb amino acids from protein and thus speed up the muscle growth. Missing out on sleep could render your protein-packed diet ineffective.

3. Depleting Your Glycogen Stores

Glycogen is the basic element of the energy-supply stored in your body to be used as energy. It is usually gained from carbohydrate-rich foods.

However, no amount of carbs can help you if you don't get enough sleep, because lack of sleep has a negative effect on the way you store the glycogen, which can worsen your performance and limit your capacity for workouts.

4. No Time to Rest = No Energy

There are different stages of sleep and the different ways they are affecting your body. Your body produces the most muscle-building hormones during the fourth stage (delta wave sleep).

When you wake up from this deep and most restful stage of sleep, you will feel tired and groggy in the morning, and maybe even throughout the day. This will make it difficult for you to stick with your exercise routine → 36 Ways to Get More Energy

4 Reasons You're Not Getting Enough Sleep?

1. Snoring

Snoring and sleeping with your mouth open can be indicators of a greater problem and can seriously impact the quality of your sleep. The latter one is particularly tricky because nasal breathing is what is keeping your oxygen levels in check.

There are sleep aid products that can reduce open-mouth snoring, like mouth strips and nasal masks, but if the problem is persistent, you should discuss it with your physician.

2. Insomnia

Insomnia and other sleep disorders can really put a strain on your muscle-building process. Home sleep testing devices can help you determine irregularities which you need to share with an expert and find a solution together.

3. Environment

Inadequate sleep environment can make it difficult for you to fall and stay asleep. Some of the things you can do for an optimal sleep environment are getting rid of the bedroom electronics, de-cluttering, keeping the room dark, choosing a good mattress, and adjusting the room temperature.

4. Your Lifestlye

Your lifestyle can often be the cause of not getting enough zzzzz's and thus sabotaging the muscle growth. Drinking alcohol and caffeine in large amounts and too close to your bedtime, for example, is not a good idea. The same can be said for staring at the TV or the smartphone screen before going to bed and eating heavily processed and fried food.

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