We have all heard a hundred times over that sleep is important for muscle building, fat loss and most importantly, overall health. However, it is easy to dismiss something if you are not aware of the benefits.
In today’s article, I will be providing you with the reasons to get proper rest!
Muscle Repair & Growth:
There are 2 primary ways in which sleep is critical for muscle repair and growth.
First off, sleep is a great environment for muscle protein synthesis (the process that allows for repair and growth of muscle tissue). This allows us to properly recover from our workouts so we can retain and grow muscle from our previous training sessions and stay on top of repairing muscle damage so we can maintain our performance in the gym!
Secondly, we all know the feeling of tiredness and lack of energy and focus following a poor night or two of sleep. This obviously causes a lag in performance at the gym, which will hurt our ability to implement the primary driver of muscle growth when it comes to training, progressive overload.
Sure you could grab the quick fix of caffeine and bang out a workout, but common sense would tell you that this is a slippery slope. While caffeine can be a very effective tool to enhance gym performance, it should NEVER be used as a replacement for quality sleep.
Fat Loss Related:
When we have a fat loss goal, preserving as much muscle mass as possible is usually a key aspect of this goal… because who would want to lose muscle?!
A study demonstrated that those sleeping for 5.5 hours each night, compared to those sleeping 8.5 hours per night saw the same amount of weight reduction (they had the same calorie deficit), however, their amount of bodyweight reduction was 55% less from fat than the other group and they lost 60% more muscle mass than the other group did.
To put this into context, let’s say the 8.5 hours of sleep per night group lost 20 total pounds and 15 was from fat and 5 was from muscle (this is an example, that would be a lot of muscle loss). The 5.5 hours of sleep per night group would have lost roughly 10 pounds in fat AND 10 pounds in muscle, (not exactly, but roughly). As you can see, sleep plays a big role in effective fat loss!
Although not THE most important thing for fat loss, hormones do play a significant role.
Studies have shown that a lack of sleep increases ghrelin levels (the hormone that makes you feel hungry) and reduces leptin (the hormone that makes you feel full). When we are in a calorie deficit, we are already naturally a little hungry sometimes, and these hormones are already shifted. We need to ensure we are optimizing everything possible to make the fat loss process as sustainable as possible. A lack of sleep is just stacking more bricks onto something that does not need more bricks.
Honestly, who in their right mind would argue that quality and proper sleep does not promote better health? I’m not a doctor and don’t know all the things that sleep impacts… so just take my word for it… and the word of… well… everyone.
There you have it, a bunch of points on why sleep plays a significant role in your fitness and health journey! Do you have any questions? Leave them in the comment section below and I would be happy to answer them!
Thanks for reading!
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Until Next Time,
Please refer to my liability disclaimer to ensure you know who is responsible for the use of this information after reading.