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How To Sleep Your Way To Big Muscles

Warning! You are hampering your muscle gains if you are not getting enough sleep.

Of the following components of an effective muscle building strategy:

  1. A workout plan that focuses on hypertrophy
  2. A diet that stimulates the release of anabolic hormones naturally
  3. Rest and sleep

The last, rest and sleep, get the least attention.

Stewie Family GuyYet sleep is a critical component in the muscle building process and should not be overlooked. Your muscle tissue repairs itself and grows during rest periods but sleep is more important than waking rest periods.

Here’s why:

  1. The release of growth hormone reaches its peak during deep sleep
  2. Your metabolic rate slows which is perfect for muscle tissue repair and growth
  3. Increased blood flow to the muscles

Here’s a quick list of some of the effects of sleep deprivation:

* aching muscles;
* bleeding;
* blurred vision;
* clinical depression;
* daytime drowsiness and naps;
* decreased mental activity and concentration;
* weakened immune system;
* dizziness;
* dark circles under the eyes;
* fainting;
* general confusion;
* hallucinations (visual and aural);
* hand tremors;
* headache;
* hernia;
* hyperactivity;
* hypertension;
* impatience;
* irritability;
* memory lapses or loss;
* nausea;
* slowed reaction time;

It’s enough to keep you awake at night isn’t it? Just kidding ;)

But in terms of bodybuilding the main effect is this:

Inadequate Sleep = Smaller Gains In Lean Muscle

How Much Sleep Is Enough To Build Muscle

This varies from person to person and I admit, I don’t sleep a whole lot.
I don’t need it though.
I get around 5 – 6 hours sleep a night and my energy levels are good.

The acceptable range is usually 4 – 9 hours per night and you need to do what’s right for you. I’ve tried 4 before; I felt like crawling under my desk and sleeping the day away ;)

Most people are going to need 7 – 8 hours every night.

10 Tips On How To Get A Good Night’s Sleep

  1. Establish a routine. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day
  2. Limit Stimulants. For at least 4 hours before bedtime, consume no caffeine, alcohol or nicotine
  3. Don’t Oversleep. When it’s time to get up – GET UP. A good way is to expose yourself to light as quickly as possible. Turn on a bed-side lamp or open your curtains.
  4. Don’t Have Daytime Naps. You’re less likely to fall asleep quickly at night if you do.
  5. Get a Comfortable Bed and Pillow(s)
  6. Wind Down Before Bedtime. Relax and take it easy for an hour or so before bedtime. No stressful or energetic activities.
  7. Stop Talking To Yourself! We all do this but it’ll keep you awake. If you find yourself replaying events in your head say to yourself, “I’m going to sleep now, I am relaxed and sleepy.”
  8. Write Down Your Concerns. If something is bothering you it’s a good idea to write it down along with some possible solutions. This gets the problem out of your head and onto paper.
  9. Eat Small Before Bedtime. This can cause indigestion and hamper your sleep efforts.
  10. Have Your Daily Water Intake Taken At Least 3 Hours Before Bedtime. Drinking too much before bedtime will cause you to get up in the middle of the night to urinate.

So enjoy your sleep, your muscles will thank you for it!

Good night everybody!

Your Buddy,

Mark McManus

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Dan January 29, 2008, 3:13 pm

    Good post and sleep is something that a lot of people forget about because life always seems to get in the way. I know I don’t get enough sleep, yet I am one of those that says… I am just so busy I can’t afford to sleep anymore…

    One day soon that will change. But another good thing about sleep is when you are are pure rest your body also burns fat for energy so the energy your muscles use to repair is coming for your fat stores!

  • Mark McManus January 29, 2008, 9:28 pm

    Hi Dan, thanks for the comment. Hit the hay bro!
    Mark McManus

  • neil March 4, 2009, 12:01 am

    Keep a mini legal pad and pencil right by your bed so you don’t even have to get up to write something- it works miracles for me.