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Sleep, a key for those dream Muscles!

  • 01 June 2016
  • By Shveta Bhagat
Sleep, a key for those dream Muscles!

Yes you heard that right! Research shows how sleep is most imperative to build muscles. So don’t compromise on that much needed time in bed. It efficiently helps recover worn out muscles and even gain strength and achieve that dream size. It is popularly said- “Muscles are torn in the gym, fed in the kitchen and built in bed

The latest supplement, a nutrition program and a grueling workout regimen will not guarantee the desired results, if not for sufficient sleep.

As we sleep, energy consumption is lowered, allowing us to use the high-quality food we eat during the day to more efficiently build muscle. Growth hormone is released, improving muscular recovery and regeneration. Also, as we sleep the brain recharges. This is important for building muscle because a rested brain is a motivated and focused brain. In simple terms, when you sleep, you recover, and when you recover you replace, repair, and rebuild—all of which are needed for optimal results.

Repairing of Muscle and Other Tissues, Replacing of aging and dead cells

Sleeping for 8-10 hours per night is similar to fasting and this is catabolic to muscle growth. However, eating just prior to sleeping, can help to reverse this process and increase protein synthesis. Protein synthesis does occur under conditions of sleep but it occurs in the gastrointestinal tract, not the muscles. Hence make sure to eat at least two hours before bedtime.

Muscle is actually broken down under these conditions to provide our stomach with amino acids during this time of starvation. Eating before bed is crucial in offsetting this. Some reports even suggest waking up in the middle of the night to eat.

Human growth hormone is also released under conditions of sleep. In men, 60% to 70% of daily human growth hormone secretion occurs during early sleep which is typically when the deepest sleep cycles occur. Poor quality sleep can negatively impact human growth hormone levels. Make sure to sleep latest by 11pm and for at least eight hours.

Research suggests that it's during REM (Rapid Eye Movement: explained later) sleep that the body is able to: restore organs, bones, and tissue; replenish immune cells; and circulate human growth hormone. Sleep has a profound effect on muscle growth and physical well being.

So don’t forget next time you are heaving and hoeing in the gym, to remember to catch up on that extra bit of sleep your body has been craving of late!


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