Is 7 Hours Of Sleep Enough To Build Muscle

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Is a lack of sleep harmful to muscle growth or performance?

When it comes to maximizing muscle gains, proper sleep is frequently overlooked as a critical factor. Proper sleep is also critical when it comes to increasing muscle mass and performance. That nugget of information could be the key to your client's – and your own – success.


What Effect Does Sleep Have on Muscle Growth?

Glucose is a type of sugar that the body stores and uses for energy. In fact, it is the only type of sugar that the body can use for energy. Any other type of sugar we consume is converted into glucose before our muscles can use it for energy.

Blood glucose is stored in the muscle as muscle glycogen during sleep. While glucose can be found in other parts of the body (the blood and the liver), muscle glycogen is preferred because it produces more energy than glucose from the blood.


When your clients don't get enough sleep, they don't get the most out of their muscle glycogen replenishment.

Human growth hormone (HGH) is one of the primary compounds that allows muscles to recover and grow. Among other things, our bodies require it to actually use the amino acids found in protein. As it turns out, the time when the bloodstream is flooded with the substance is - you guessed it - while sleeping.

The body simply cannot do these things well if it does not get enough and good quality sleep.

You can also tell your clients that consuming a combination of protein and carbohydrates (what bodybuilders call "mass fuel") within 30 minutes before and after a resistance training session will help them gain muscle.


Muscles shrink as sleep time decreases.

It's not just that getting enough sleep promotes muscle growth. Muscle mass decreases when not getting enough sleep.

A 2011 study looked at how sleep deprivation affected muscle gain and recovery.

1 For 72 hours, participants in the study were subjected to a strict sleep schedule. During this time, one group was permitted to sleep for 5.5 hours per day, while the other was permitted to sleep for 8.5 hours per day. Everyone followed a calorie-controlled diet.

Researchers discovered that people who slept for only 5.5 hours had 60% less muscle mass at the end of the study, while those who slept for 8.5 hours had 40% more muscle mass.

Clearly, sleep has a significant impact on muscle recovery and growth.


Poor sleep equals poor performance.

According to a 2008 study conducted by Dr. Bert Jacobson, a lack of sleep reduces energy levels and makes us more susceptible to mood swings.

2 You may not believe that "mood swings" are something to be concerned about. However, there is enough evidence that our emotional state can have a direct impact on our athletic performance to warrant consideration.

Proper sleep is essential for assisting your clients in performing optimally during training sessions, increasing endurance, and improving mindset for the best results. Finally, all of this leads to faster and better muscle growth.


It's Possible That You Need a New Mattress

The same study2 discovered that a newer mattress improves sleep, which boosts energy levels during weight training sessions. People who slept seven to eight hours a night on a newer mattress were more likely to engage in more physical activities. In terms of our work as trainers, when our clients have newer mattresses, they are likely to be more rested and motivated to show up to work during training sessions. As shown in the graph below, sleeping on a newer mattress was associated with significantly higher levels of activity. This does not imply that all of your clients must purchase new mattresses every year, but it is a consideration.


Summarizing Sleep

Poor sleep equals low energy and, most likely, a negative attitude. This is likely to result in a sub-maximal effort, poor technique, and overall poor performance. As a result, your clients will experience sub-optimal muscle growth.

Most people, including trainers, bodybuilders, athletes, and average gym goers, overlook sleep as a key component of a proper training regimen. Many people's busy lives necessitate only a few hours of sleep, but this will not result in maximum muscle gains. If those kinds of gains are important to you or your clients, then resolving the sleep issue should be a top priority as well.


Sleep should be taught!

A personal trainer has many hats to wear. We are motivational speakers, psychologists, and educators. Our clients may have been taught that muscle can be built through weight training, nutrition, and supplementation. We can now teach them how to build muscle by using one of the most basic human actions: rest. Because our clients have placed their trust in us, we must help them understand the importance of sleep.


Rest Recommendations

1. Avoid doing anything strenuous right before going to bed.

High-intensity activities provide an energy boost to the body. As a result, it is critical that these activities be completed no later than three hours before bedtime. Otherwise, the resulting energy boost is likely to interfere with a good night's sleep. Don't forget to include any other high-intensity activities that your clients participate in outside of the gym.

2. Maintain a regular sleep schedule.

Though you (or your client) may believe he or she is getting the same amount of sleep by sleeping later and waking up later, this is not the case. These patterns tend to disrupt the body's natural 24-hour cycle (also called the circadian rhythm). It's really best if we all go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.

3. Before going to bed, drink a protein shake.

During sleep, the body has a more difficult time controlling protein breakdown. This is a problem for muscle growth because our bodies must break down proteins into their constituent amino acids before recombining them to form new muscle tissue. Protein shakes are typically made up of protein in forms that are quickly and easily broken down, so consuming one before bed can make this process much easier on the body.


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