Have you ever wondered what happens to your muscle mass when you don’t get enough sleep? If you think that skipping sleep won’t affect your muscular strength, think again!
Sometimes it’s the simple things that help us achieve our goals and still, people spend a lot of time looking for the latest workout programs, supplements or diet plans. Unfortunately, most people neglect sleep and don’t understand that sleep and muscle growth go hand in hand.
Without sufficient rest, your natural ability to grow and repair muscle is no longer as effective as it used to be, and eventually, you’ll gain weight and lose muscle mass. This is why getting enough quality sleep every single night is crucial for your body development.
Muscles don’t grow in the gym
Not even the best training routine can compensate for insufficient sleep because muscles don’t grow when you work out. On the contrary, they increase in size whenever you sleep and get some rest. According to scientists, there are two cycles which alternate almost every 90 minutes – the REM sleep (“Rapid-Eye-Movement”) and the deep sleep.
Their studies show that your body releases large amounts of growth hormone during REM sleep when muscles become more relaxed and soak up the necessary protein. In addition, the deep sleep also contributes to muscular development, because it enhances the cellular regeneration and muscle growth.
What happens during sleep?
There is no doubt that sleep serves many important functions. It helps you to maintain and protect both the physical and mental health, improve your memory and learning abilities, promote hormone balance and many other functions.
For those looking to improve their muscle mass, in particular, there are several major benefits of sleep:
- Muscle and other tissue repairs
- Lower energy consumption
- High levels of natural growth hormone
- Brain recharges
More specifically, when you sleep, your body has the ability to repair, replace and rebuild all those cells and tissues that help build muscle. Moreover, training becomes more efficient after taking a nap, because motivation levels are higher and energy is conserved.
How late can you work out?
Finishing your training 4-6 hours before bed is the best alternative for optimal sleep. However, if the only time you can complete your training session is before bedtime, it shouldn’t affect your sleep that much as long as you do it properly. This means not eating too much and working out too hard, but also taking a relaxing shower before sleep.
How does working out affect your sleep? Because your body temperature is up, your brain activity level is high and your heart rate is rising, you may experience problems while trying to fall asleep.
Tips for getting adequate sleep
The quality of sleep can affect your muscle increase, but also your daily activities. In order to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, here are some valuable tips you can implement in your evening routine:
- Avoid training right before bedtime. Exercising at night can interfere with your sleep and you may have a hard time trying to fall asleep.
- Don’t drink caffeine in the evening. Caffeine can maintain its effect up to 5 hours after consumption and it will affect the quality of your sleep.
- Don’t watch TV in bed. Watching TV may increase alertness and determines the brain to refuse to go to sleep.
- Take a warm bath. Water helps you relax both your body and your mind.
- Try not to sleep too much. Oversleeping might also cause sleep disorders, as well as put on weight, developing heart problems, headaches or back pain.
Therefore, if you work out intensely, take the right supplements and stick to a strict diet, but your muscle won’t grow, starting today you should:
- Change everything is wrong with your current training strategy
- Stop watching TV in bed
- Read before bedtime
- Set the alarm clock early in the morning and don’t hit snooze
- Turn off any electronic devices an hour prior to bedtime