Arguably one of the most important aspects in life. In fact I will as far as say, sleep is just as important as training and diet if not more.
Sleep restriction may increase your chance of disease, performance, and even weight gain. Those who had shorter durations of sleep at night were 55% more likely to become obese according to studies.
Arnold once said:
“You don’t have enough time in the day, sleep faster”
While this sounds cool in theory, we need to understand that sleep plays a vital role in body composition, especially when trying to lose weight or build muscle.
Research has discovered that sleep has a tremendous effect on muscle growth and recovery. Individuals who slept less than 6h had 60% less muscle mass while those who slept 8h had 40% more muscle mass. This is mainly due to factors such as catabolic stress and increase in metabolic dysfunction. (PMC5749041)
Weight loss is not as affected given a similar caloric restriction if sleep is restricted however thought, we need to understand that weight loss and fat loss are two totally different things.
When you lose weight, part it is fat mass, part of it is lean mass, and there is some loss of body water.
What we want to do when losing weight is maximize fat loss (FFM) and minimize lean mass (LBM) to positively influence our body composition.
Two recent studies (PMID: 29438540; PMID: 20921542) both show very similar results. These studies showed restricting sleep significantly increases weight loss from lean mass (LBM) and reduces weight loss as fat mass (FFM) , sleep restriction hinders your ability to preserve lean mass (LBM) and improve your body composition. So waking up early, posting your 4am gym pictures with hardly any sleep is not really something to brag about.
In other words, the OPPOSITE of what you will want to happen happens if you restrict sleep. Majority of adults suffer from some sleep related issues, whether it’s falling asleep or actually staying asleep.
Sleep plays an important role in your circadian rhythm which affects the regulation of food and other biological processes, particularly the release of hormones/growth hormones which naturally spike during the night.
Thankfully, there are some useful tips that can help improve sleep onset and quality.
1. No TV or cell phone activity as some light sources can trigger the brain to believe its still daytime.
2. Sticking to a sleep schedule can highly improve your sleep pattern.
3. A cool dark room can promote better sleep as your body needs a certain temperate to fall asleep. (All the guys on trenbolene please take note).
If you constantly get bad sleep, improving it should be a main focus to help improve your body composition and overall health. The last thing you want is sleep hindering your ability to improve your health even though you’re exerting effort to improve your diet and physical activity.