There are many things that can be done without problems. Sore muscles, tax back payments or stress with your spouse are definitely part of it. However, if you regularly cut back on sleep, you will quickly feel the health consequences. Chronic lack of sleep is far from healthy. But how much sleep is necessary anyway? And how important is sleepA for building muscle? We explain.
Restful sleep as basis for performance
Maybe we have to put that into perspective first. If you lie on the sofa all day anyway and spend your valuable time streaming American series or if your maximum physiological stress is only in the continuous walk to the refrigerator, then getting enough sleep definitely has a different meaning than for the actual target group Article.
However, if you belong to the hard-working, learning or training population, you can regard a restful sleep as a fundamental pillar of high physical and psychological resilience. Since we are not doing basic research in the sleep laboratory, but want to give useful training tips, we should put the sports physiological glasses loosely on the tip of the nose and take a closer look at the topics of sleep, muscle building and fat burning and analyze the connections.
Why sufficient sleep is essential for building muscle
Hard training poses a great challenge to your body – especially from a physiological point of view. But it’s ok like that. Only in this way can the relevant metabolic processes run at a maximum efficient level in the long term and keep your own health and performance in the green area.
But which factors put an above-average load on your body during muscle building training, intensive cardio training or other high-intensity activities?
In order to be able to answer this question in detail, we would first have to make a small digression into the fundamental topic of the energy supply of your muscles . However, we do not do this at this point because we have covered the topic in detail in our training guide.
We can’t avoid a short excursion into physiology:
Every muscle contraction converts certain energy substrates in the muscle, the waste products of which sooner or later accumulate in the blood when the so-called anaerobic alactic energy production via creatine phosphate and ATP, which is preferred by the organism, is exhausted. From this point on, your body primarily uses the carbohydrates stored as glycogen (often also referred to as pasta casserole, apple pie or fried potatoes) to supply your muscles with energy during intense stress phases.
This complex metabolic process creates so-called lactate as a waste product, which accumulates in the blood plasma and sooner or later creates an acidic environment – which is popularly known as acidification of muscles (not to be confused with sore muscles). At least if the resulting lactate is not broken down again at the same time and this prevents over-acidification.
Is the training intensity very high, your body cannot keep the balance between lactate production and lactate breakdown. The so-called homeostasis , a sensitive balance between many metabolic processes , is massively disturbed in this case. In addition, excessive acidity during training can lead to a drop in performance, because the conversion of glycogen in the muscle steadily loses its efficiency as the lactate level in the blood rises. Sooner or later your metabolism will trip itself up. Questionable practice.
The following graphic shows the dependency on training intensity and type of energy supply, which is also of decisive relevance for muscle building during sleep.
During a sustained load phase of moderate intensity (e.g. light running or cycling), the result is usually a balance between lactate production and lactate consumption .
The resulting lactate is broken down again at the same time, built up again into glycogen and is again available for the energy metabolism. Almost awesome. By the way, we refer to the maximum of this equilibrium as ” continuous performance limit ” or also “anaerobic threshold”.
A restful sleep becomes exponentially more important if your metabolic homeostasis is disturbed by hard training, hard work or a lot of stress. Especially if your continuous performance limit has been exceeded for a long time. But what exactly happens when you sleep?
Sleep and training – An ingenious symbiosis
Only if you can guarantee the complete restoration of homeostasis of all stressed functional systems of your body after an intense exercise phase, a targeted hypertrophy (i.e. that Muscle growth).
You have to give your body time to regenerate and to break down all metabolic products before it can start building new muscle mass. These waste products arise not only from the utilization of energy-rich phosphates (ATP), but also from the synthesis of other metabolic function carriers.
In terms of its importance for the regenerative ability , sleep is the most important factor in restoring homeostasis. This is not so much the daily “power nap” or the “eating coma” after the evening biscuit orgy, but rather a restful sleep characterized by continuous deep sleep and falling asleep quickly.
Only through restful sleep can a regenerative protective inhibition spread over the cerebral cortex, which can break down metabolic products accumulated during the day and render them harmless. This regular and fully automated procedure is necessary so that your brain can be protected from metabolic overload and you are fresh and productive again every day – also cognitively.
The predominant part of all anabolic (anabolic) processes that are hormonally induced by the growth hormones also released during sleep, among others. testosteron rezeptfrei kaufen, being controlled, runs in the different phases of sleep that you go through every night after intensive training or intense physical activity. So a significant part of the entire muscle build-up simply takes place during sleep . Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Only those who get enough sleep can optimally support the cell growth necessary for regeneration and muscle building.
According to this, regular sleep disorders , regardless of whether they are triggered by massive noise from the neighbors, too much coffee, stress or other psychological factors, can have a destructive effect on the development of new cell structures. The missing deep sleep phases prevent a even release of hormones and thus the rapid build-up of new protein structures, i.e. the actual muscle growth.
If you don’t get enough sleep, you only build up new muscle mass to a limited extent. A chronic lack of sleep must not only be an indicator of too much stress or too noisy neighbors, but can also be an indicator of training-related overload (overtraining). In this case, you should urgently review and adjust your training schedule.
How many hours do I have to sleep?
As always, there is no general rule of thumb for the optimal sleep duration for muscle building or for your personal (“ideal”) wellbeing. If you can absolutely cope with 4 hours of sleep and see yourself able to achieve top performance in the long term – well. Good luck.
Basically, a concept similar to the ideal length of pauses in sentences also applies to the ideal length of sleep:
Lift when you’re ready. Get up when you’re ready.
Of course, there are limits to the interpretation of these concepts. If you think that it takes 12 or more hours of sleep a day to get you started well into the rest of the 50% of your “day”, you are wrong. Perhaps it would be time to take a detailed look at your diet and lifestyle habits and find out why you are oversleeping half your life.
For all other athletes and those who want to become one, however, a rough guideline of 6-8.5 hours sleep daily applies. A large number of studies have shown that almost 99% of all recommended guideline values level off somewhere between this range. I do not cite individual studies on the importance of sleep for muscle building here. You are powerful in the search engines yourself.
How restful your sleep is in the end does not only depend on the length of sleep. Anyone who inhales liters of green tea in the evening before going to sleep and floods the saving ceramic every 15 minutes, lets his hamster do the nightly cardio training in the hamster wheel next to the pillow or simply sleeps directly on the platform, cannot expect them regenerative protection inhibition works without interruption and has a relaxing effect.