How important is sleep for muscle growth?

How Important Is Sleep in Terms of Muscle Repair & Muscle Growth?

Many people overlook the importance of a good nights kip, they don’t realise how important it is to get the right amount of sleep.

Weightlifters, bodybuilders, fitness fanatics and anybody that works out are usually always interested in the new fitness phases.

Trying out new fitness workouts, regimes and diets to see if they are more effective than your current workout plan.

But, a lot of you don’t realise that no matter how effective your workout is, no matter how hard you train, you need to be considering the rest your body gets.

Sleep is so important for everybody, especially weightlifters and bodybuilders.


How Much Sleep Should You Get if You Train Regularly?

So how much sleep should you be aiming for and what’s the importance of rest?

With hectic lifestyles, a lot of people nowadays are only getting between 4-6 hours of sleep per day.

Busy schedules and work life are contributing to the lack of sleep, read our post on how to stay fit when you work a busy schedule.

It is recommended that healthy adults should aim to get between 7 – 9 hours of sleep per night.

Some individuals may not need the full 9 hours but some may, it varies from person to person.

They say that between 7 Р9 hours will enable you to function at your best.

Research has shown that those who regularly get less than 7 hours sleep live shorter lives, which is alarming.

Prioritising sleep is necessary for your overall health.

But, how does sleep help with muscle growth and is it really important to get 8 hours of sleep?

We’re going to discuss how sleep helps with muscle repair and growth, so if you are lifting weights and you’re not sleeping enough than you are impacting your own gains.


What Happens During Sleep?

During sleep, our bodies are still working. They produce the growth hormone and encourage protein synthesis to happen if you have indeed consumed protein before sleeping.

Not only this, brain cell restoration and energy consumption reduction also occur during sleep, which are also very important.

There are various stages of sleep and each stage has a different effect on helping to build muscle and restore the body.

We’re going to discuss the benefits that sleep has when it comes to muscle growth and muscle recovery.


Muscles and Tissues

When you sleep for 7 – 9 hours it is like fasting so rather than promoting muscle growth, it is actually doing the opposite.

But, there’s a way to solve this.

They say eating right before sleep can help to reverse this process and actually encourage protein synthesis.

Protein synthesis occurs in the ribosomes.

Whilst sleeping and in starvation mode, muscles are broken down to provide the stomach with amino acids.

So to avoid this, eating right before bed or even waking up in the night to eat can prevent this.

The human growth hormone is also released whilst we sleep, but only if we reach a deep sleep.

Poor sleep can negatively affect the human growth hormone levels.

Research has concluded that during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) the body is able to perform; restoring organs, bones and tissue, replenish immune cells and promote the circulation of the human growth hormone.


Energy Consumption

When we sleep energy consumption is lowered, meaning we conserve energy.

Lack of sleep can result in a person requiring more meals to gain the energy they require.

Energy conservation when not working out is key to increasing size.

Several meals per day encourage growth and sleep ensures food is used to replace energy whilst rebuilding muscle.

It is believed that eating before sleep or waking up to eat can enhance these effects.


Feel Energised

Levels of adenosine lower when we are sleeping, which means the brain is recharging. Whereas towards the end of the day, levels of adenosine rise which suggest the brain is getting tired.

In other words, during sleep, the brain recharges leaving the body feeling energised, motivated and alert.

Which can help with workouts, making sure you perform to your best, motivate you to continue your efforts and make you feel alert.

We are sure that feeling energised and motivated is the desire for anybody.


As we know, sleep is so important for the body, brain, muscles and tissues. Not only will it make you feel energised and refreshed but it can help with muscle growth.

It is important to consider that too much sleep can have effects on the body, so aiming for 7 – 9 hours of sleep is essential.

Research shows that sleep has positive effects on our bodies. For anybody who trains, it can prepare you mentally for your gym sessions, weightlifting and intense workouts.

Sleep promotes muscular recovery and releases the human growth hormone, it is ideal to promote these if you are training and trying to gain muscle.

Quicker muscle recovery means faster gains, so you should be prioritising sleep.

Get yourself into a routine, focus on getting enough sleep and continue with your healthy eating and lifting and you will be sure to see a huge improvement.

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