4 Ways Sleep Deprivation Kills Your Muscle Gains


If eating right is gold, then sleeping for hours is silver. Sounds weird, right? This fits right in for those individuals who have workout goals and want to gain lean muscles in the just the right way. Sleeping is a very important biological phenomenon and a basic parameter to judge human health. When you sleep well, your brain functions well, mood stays bright all day, and metabolic functions work well. You feel much lighter after a good 8 hours of sleep but you would feel even more chiseled and heavier if you sleep a little longer. Experts believe that of you sleep properly, your body will respond well to workouts, supplementation’s, and recover very fast. The question is that how an activity as laid back as sleep can give you those gains. Here are 4 amazing and surprising ways sleep helps you in gaining muscles:

Regulates Cortisol

When you perform hard workouts or undergo training sessions, the adrenal gland in your body releases a hormone called Cortisol. This particular hormone is responsible for waking you up in the morning at a set time every day. This phenomenon is called Cortisol Awakening. Moving onto muscle building, the International Sports Science Association says that Cortisol works as a counter to testosterone, human growth hormone and various other muscle-building hormones. This happens when Cortisol breaks down the muscle tissues in order to release amino acids for energy. Now imagine if you sleep less or face hard time sleeping peacefully. The repercussions could be irregular wake up timings due to disrupted Cortisol Awakening, increased levels of the hormone that can cause stress, and the most disappointing result could be preventing you from gaining muscles owing to surged usage of amino acids already present in the body.

Inability to Enter Stages of Sleep

There are about 4 stages of sleep and the fourth one Delta Wave Sleep is the most beneficial when it comes to muscle building. The Delta Wave Sleep is the stage when your body starts to produce an imaginable amount of muscle growth hormones that silently works on your gains. Moreover, this is even more effective when you manage to sleep for a good 9 hours almost every night. When you enter Delta Wave mode every day, your brain is much more relaxed, body at ease, and you feel lighter in the morning. This directly indicates no-stress situations and you feel energized to take on the grind at the gym with physical zeal. Insomnia and no rest in life leads to fatigue and you finally end up feeling groggy for no reason. The worst case is that even the best of supplementation will not be able to put you in a zone where you feel motivated enough to pump iron. Therefore, you must sleep for atleast 9-10 hours a day if muscle gain is the thing you look up to.

Disturbed Appetite

As an aspiring bodybuilder, you should consume calories not more than the amount that you burn at the gym. In simpler words, there should be a balance and control over what you eat in a  day and consistent workouts in the sessions. There is a proven relationship between appetite and sleep. A study published in the American Journal of Human Biology says that improper sleep pattern impact the Ghrelin and Leptin levels that are two important hormones responsible for increasing appetite and a feeling of full respectively. Any disruption in these hormones leads to a confused hunger signals and this might end up coaxing you eat mindlessly without any feeling of satisfaction. Extra calories and no sleep can be devastating and as a result, you could gain weight as well. Hence, there is enough proofs to support the fact that not getting adequate sleep can lead to overeating and unwanted weight gain.]

Imbalances in Male Hormones

Speaking of male hormones, Testosterone defines almost every primary and secondary male sex characteristics. This particular hormone plays an important part in your journey to attaining muscle and a chiselled physique. Aforementioned point that talks about sleep stages can be elaborated here because a lack of sleep can disturb the Testosterone level that can lead to breaking down of muscles, weight gain, and an irritable behaviour all day long. No amount of good diet and exercise can help you if your body is crying inside and brain screaming for some rest. Another aspect is the Human Growth Hormone (HGH) that builds and repairs muscles. This group of hormones encourages the production of IGF-1 (Insulin-like growth factor 1) that also has an anabolic effect on the body. Remember, balanced hours of sleep directly affect how much HGH your body produces and muscle gains.


Now that your eyes are wide open because of the bad things sleep deprivation can do to your body, here are few tips to avoid the situation completely:

  • Avoid Caffeine an hour before you hit the sack
  • Do not use smartphones or laptops at bed time, as the UV light coming out of the gadget can affect Melatonin levels
  • Exercise atleast 4 hours before the bedtime
  • Avoid discussing stressful things at home

Sleep, Sleep and just sleep!

Author Bio

Vineeta Tiwari is a Health & Wellness writer for past 4 years. A fitness freak herself, she is on a constant mission to explore hidden facts and remedies that benefits people’s health and their lives overall. Her current post talks about the lesser-known facts about whey that people miss on. Currently, she is associated with an emerging & popular health supplement website


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