It seems simple, but many people overlook the fact that your body needs to rest if you want to grow muscle faster.
Does your sleep really affect whether or not you can grow muscle faster? You can answer this question by taking a look at what happens to your body when it doesn't get the sleep it requires…
1) Mental focus will decline.
Studies have shown that just a single night with insufficient rest will have a significant negative impact on your mental focus and willingness to perform difficult tasks.
2) Your physical performance will be degraded.
If you haven't slept enough, your strength levels drop, and you are less likely to take on the heavy weights or additional reps that are required to grow muscle faster.
Your bottom line muscle gains are ultimately determined by the steady increases in poundage that you are able to make on all of your exercises, and keeping your strength at top levels is critical when you are trying to grow muscle faster.
3) You won't recover as quickly.
The fact is, and I'm sure you know this, your muscles do not grow IN the gym. Rather, they grow while you are OUT of the gym, eating and resting.
While you sleep, your body is working hard towards the recovery and remodeling of damaged muscle tissue. Not only do your muscles require recovery time, but your central nervous system, joints, and immune system need rest too.
4) The production of certain hormones is compromised.
When you don't get enough rest, your body cannot produce the necessary amounts of muscle building and fat burning hormones that you need to achieve your goals.
These include biggies like cortisol, testosterone, growth hormone, and insulin.
Simply put, sleep deprivation has a negative impact on every single one of them...
a) Cortisol: This catabolic stress hormone increases abdominal fat storage and helps breakdown muscle tissue down for energy.
Studies have proven that excess cortisol is produced when you don't get enough sleep.
b) Testosterone: The major muscle building hormone. When you raise your levels of testosterone, your muscle building capability will increase.
When you don't sleep, your testosterone levels are lowered.
c) Growth Hormone: This hormone helps to regenerate your body as well as aids in building and maintaining muscle.
Your growth hormone levels increase as you sleep at night. If you cut into your sleep, you reduce this hormonal surge.
d) Insulin: Responsible for the uptake of important nutrients into your body cells.
Without the right amount of sleep, your body's insulin resistance levels are upped. Your body is affected because it will then release higher-than-normal amounts of insulin to compensate.
This can lead to excess fat storage, diabetes, or heart disease.
So, just how much sleep is enough in order to grow muscle faster?
Of course it varies from individual to individual. You should at least give your body 8 hours of sleep at night.
Don't scrimp on sleep when building muscle; if you need 9 hours or more, go for it. Ultimately, you need to get enough sleep so that you are rested and energized the next day.
More sleep will help you grow muscle faster as it will:
- Increase your mental focus and energy
- Build your strength
- Allow for proper recovery in between workouts
- Lower levels of cortisol
- Raise testosterone levels
- Increase growth hormone levels
- Lower insulin resistance
If all this information doesn't encourage you to get more sleep, I can't imagine what will.
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