16 Aug

Why Sleep is Crucial to Build Muscle


On Site Training in Austin - Central Athlete

Sleep is essential for all systemic functions of an organism. Deficits in sleep have harmful impacts–changes in dietary behavior and body composition, impaired glucose regulation, disrupted blood pressure and negative cognitive processes.

Lack of sleep decreases the activity of protein synthesis pathways, increasing degradation. This results in loss of muscle mass and impacts muscle recovery after training.

Below are some insights into sleep physiology:

1. Growth hormone is secreted and at its highest concentrations between 1-3am.
2. If we are in a sleep-deprived state, we are more likely to be insulin resistant—meaning we are more likely to store fat instead of building muscle.
3. You will lack the required energy to put in the volume and/or intensity in training to continuously see results.
4. Your body will experience a higher rate of catabolism–a larger breakdown of muscle tissue.
5. Your body will experience less anabolism–less muscle-building activity and protein synthesis.


Easy ways to improve sleep:

1. Consistent bedtime (30-60 minute window each night).
2. 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
3. Cool environment–68 degrees is ideal for muscle growth.
4. Black-out conditions in your room–this regulates hormones that control sleep.
5. Some form of rhythmic noise playing.

Remember that training is a form of stress, whether we perceive it that way or not. Managing overall stress is one of the primary roles of all Central Athlete coaches as we want to ensure you adapt and improve in your training. We want to prevent our clients from over-training, becoming fatigued and further stressed. Achieving this balance needs an expert’s supervision.

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