Sleeping is a crucial part of having a productive day, and most people don’t give it as much of a priority as it deserves.
Sleep is important even for someone who doesn’t do any heavy tasks and just sits at the office all day, and it is crucial for those that work out.
If you are working out for muscle gain, chances are you do some tough drills, and your muscles take a lot of strain.
Is 7 Hours Of Sleep Enough To Build Muscle?
Seven hours of sleep is enough for a muscle-building routine, but it is on the lower side. You need to rest for 8 hours if you can, but 7 hours is enough to allow you to rest, relieve your muscle soreness and get you ready for the next workout session.
You can use amazing products from BulkExtreme.com for recovery, but sleep is still crucial. Let us get into the details and see how all of it works;
How Much Sleep Do You Need For Muscle Growth
We need to break down sleep and how it relates to muscle growth, protein synthesis, and overall recovery from a workout session. Let us take the gloves off and see the details on this vital topic;
We know sleep is important and plays a big role in recovery, but we need to look at some of the actual percentages it affects muscle growth.
Some of these advantages will supersede what you would get from a diet, but you shouldn’t drop the diet.
This has something to do with HGH, Human Growth Hormone. We know that HGH plays a big role in organ development, overall recovery, skin development, muscle development, and everything else. It helps everything grow, but we don’t understand how it works.
We have growth hormone pulses, small bursts every 3 to 5 hours. The pituitary glands signal the release of HGH in specific intervals, and most of it comes out during the slow-wave sleep, SWS.
SWS is the 3rd sleeping stage that happens after the onset of sleep. SWS is the deepest sleep that happens soon after you fall asleep, and that is when the pituitary gland secretes 70% of the growth hormone.
This pattern means we are supposed to be as rested as we can shortly after sleep. This means you have to ensure your room is cool and everything is in place to ensure a good few hours of sleep.
Sleep plays a major role in muscle growth, and research proves that longer sleep isn’t always better than deeper sleep.
We need to ensure we get quality sleep, especially since the pituitary glands release HGH during the first few hours of sleep.
A study found that longer sleep works better than shorter sleep in muscle growth. The researchers found that 8.5 hours of sleep vs. 5.5 hours of sleep had 60% muscle mass 60% more muscle if you sleep for 8 hours.
This observation is not a one-night thing, this is a lifestyle, so if you get a night of short sleep, it won’t kill you, but it can get messy if you have a cumulative effect. You will disrupt when your growth hormone pulses and ultimately affect your muscle mass.
It is not all about growth hormones; some factors come into play, and they relate to sleep duration, the most significant one being Cortisol acids.
When we wake up, we have elevated cortisol levels, and the whole purpose of cortisol is to wake us up.
When you are sleep-deprived, your cortisol levels are lower in the morning, and then they elevate through the day, which is the opposite of what should happen.
This means a sleep-deprived individual will have more energy levels in the evening than in the morning.
This imbalance makes it harder to fall asleep, and the cycle starts all over again, and it gets worse.
As this problem worsens, it depresses RNA signaling; RNA signals what needs to happen to meet your genetic potential.
If your DNA is of a 180-pound muscular man, then your RNA will dictate what happens to allow you to get to that 180 pounds.
You will never reach your full potential if you depress your RNA signaling, and cortisol messes with RNA signaling.
This means that cortisol will dramatically reduce protein synthesis, forcing your body to use proteins in the cells and use them for energy. This makes you break down existing proteins rather than create new ones.
Sleeping Habits To Improve Your Muscle Gains
After a long day of workouts, everyone knows how important it is to get some sleep. We don’t account for how this sleep affects us and how we should be sleeping in most cases. You need to get into the right sleeping habits to ensure you gain the most from resting.
This is crucial since what you do in bed can affect what you do in the gym, and the wrong patterns can wreck your progress. Let us break it down and see how to get better rest;
- Before you sleep, there are two crucial things you need to do; the first is stretching your body out.
We always talk about the benefits of static training, but it will help if you do it right; it can reduce your output if you do it before a workout.
Stretching allows your body to stay loose, and this is crucial before you go to bed since the tissues will heal overnight as you sleep. The muscles will shorten during this time, so you have to ensure you keep them as long as they can be.
- The other thing you have to do is adjust the tightness on your bedsheets, which most people don’t even realize they do.
We keep the bed sheets tight, so our ankles automatically face down when we put our legs in.
So you will spend the next 8 or 9 hours with your ankles facing down, which will lead to tight calves, which is likely something you do every day.
You can’t get adequate calf flexibility; therefore, you have to compensate your knees and hips for going low enough during a workout.
The best way to avoid this is to give your feet more freedom under the sheets loosen the bed sheets before you go to bed so your ankles face up and your feet can move.
- You also need to get a flatter pillow to ensure your neck relaxes at a more aligned position with your body.
As your neck relaxes, it will give room for your back and spine to rest, and you will feel better in the morning because of it.
Your sleeping position with the pillow is also important; many people love to sleep on the side with one arm up under their head. This causes internal shoulder rotation, which is a big problem that is difficult to reverse.
Your shoulder will remain in an internally rotated position for about 7 hours since you will have your forearm resting on the pillow, thus angled upward. To avoid this, you can put your arm under the pillow, and it will get rid of the internal rotation.
- Another major issue when sleeping comes up for stomach sleepers since they also mess up their shoulders.
Stomach sleepers do an even better job of causing internal shoulder rotation since they lie on both shoulders simultaneously.
If you lie on your stomach and your hands are under your head, you will hurt your shoulders and the back.
You will raise your upper body and cause a lot of tightness in your lower back which jams your spine and body into an extension for a long time.
You can avoid these problems by flipping over and sleeping while facing up, so your hands are behind your head.
This is an externally rotated position, and it is much safer since it won’t cause damage to your shoulder as it won’t be supporting much weight.
- Sleeping in a fetal position tightens your hip flexors since you hug them up close to your body.
You are creating adaptively shortened hip flexors since you most likely sat at a chair for most of the day, bringing up many problems.
You can sleep on your side; just avoid pulling your knees up into your chest so your hip flexors elongate and stretch. You can add a pillow between your knees to make sure they stay in place as you sleep.
Sleep is crucial for your workout routine, and you need to get at least 7 hours of sleep, but 8 or 9 will serve you better. You need to be keener about your sleep patterns since muscles mostly grow while asleep, and balancing your sleep gives you better muscle development.
When thinking of muscle growth, most people look at it and think about exercise and diet, but nobody accounts for sleep and recovery time. Sleep could be more crucial to putting on more muscles than food.