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What if someone told you that you could build muscle in your sleep?
That would be amazing wouldn’t it?
Because let’s be honest everyone likes to sleep.
Well, it turns out that sleep is one of our best friends when it comes to muscle growth.
It is a key component for mental and physical recovery.
That begs the question of how much sleep is needed?
Is 6 hours of sleep enough to build muscle?
Is 7 hours sleep enough to build muscle?
Or should you be getting more than that?
When it comes to sleep, more is usually better than less.
At least to a certain extent.
Read on to find out why, how, and when sleep is necessary to maximize your muscle growth!
Table of Contents
Why Sleep Is Crucial For Muscle Growth
Trying to build muscle without sleeping is like trying to drive your car without oil.
It’s that thing that you usually aren’t worried about when the warning signs appear.
But after ignoring it for too long things start to break.
Sleep is when our body produces rapid amounts of a substance called Human Growth Hormone, commonly referred to as HGH.
It is a naturally occurring hormone produced within our pituitary gland.
Studies have shown that roughly 50-70% of HGH production in grown men occurs while they sleep.
HGH is used for an array of important functions.
One of which is muscle growth.
This is because it sparks protein synthesis within the body, in turn offering greater muscle recovery.
Making it an extremely beneficial choice to eat some protein before you go to bed.
This will allow the HGH to do its job properly by providing it with Amino Acids for muscle repair.
Adding in some fats with this meal is also a good idea.
They will help slow down the digestion of the protein.
Allowing more time for the nutrients to absorb into the areas of your body that need it.
Sleep Good, Think Good, Train Good
Another important reason to take your sleep seriously is for the mental aspect. Because if you’re not resting your mind, it’s going to get foggy.
This will lead to agitation, weight gain, less focus, and higher stress due to an increase in cortisol levels.
In turn, this may lead to a negative impact on gym performance, and other daily activities.
To spark new muscle breakdowns within your training sessions.
You’ve gotta be focused on the workout.
This is difficult to do when you’re cranky, tired, and stressed out.
Next time you want to stay up late watching The Walking Dead remember the phrase Sleep Good, Think Good, Train Good.
Because if you sleep good you think good if you think good you train good.
Hopefully, this will remind you to turn off the t.v. and get to bed for those gains!
Is 6 Hours Of Sleep Enough To Build Muscle?
For this section when I mention a certain sleep duration such as 6 or 7-9 hours.
I am stating it as a consistent amount of sleep that someone would be getting almost every night.
Now let’s answer the question, is 6 hours sleep enough for muscle growth? Although 6 hours of sleep per night will promote muscle growth.
It’s not the most optimal number to maximize your recovery.
Sleeping longer will lead to more HGH production and protein synthesis.
Ultimately, sparking better repair and recovery for new muscle tissue to be formed.
How Much Sleep Should You Be Getting?
The recommended amount of sleep for an adult is 7-9 hours per night.
However, this number also depends on your daily lifestyle; activity level, diet, and age.
Sometimes you may need more, sometimes less.
It will also depend on your goals.
For instance, 6 hours of sleep with bodybuilding intentions in mind is probably not enough rest to truly excel in the sport.
Furthermore sticking to the recommended 7-9 hours is typically the most optimal for muscle recovery.
This is because it allows your body and mind enough time to get into that deep sleep phase, producing a larger amount of HGH, and creating more muscle protein synthesis.
Leading to overall better muscle growth.
In a study conducted in 2010 involving two groups of people.
One was getting 5.5 hours of sleep per night and the other 8.5 hours.
Each group was then put on a 2-week calorie-deficient diet.
The group getting 5.5 hours of sleep lost about 60% more muscle mass than the group getting 8.5 hours per night.
This is just another reason why getting sleep should be at the top of your priority list if you’re trying to pack on muscle mass.
Experiment with your sleep schedule to find the number of hours that work best for you.
Is 7 Hours Of Sleep Enough To Build Muscle?
Although 7 hours of sleep is within the recommended range.
It’s best to shoot for the higher numbers of 8-9 if you’re trying to maximize muscle growth.
Don’t be mistaken, 7 hours is still a great target to shoot for.
Especially if you’re on a tight schedule and struggle to get any more than this.
So is 7 hours of sleep enough to build muscle?
The short answer is yes, you will usually build muscle off 7 hours of sleep.
Sleeping Tips For Optimal Recovery
Not only is it important to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
Ensuring that this sleep is quality should also be prioritized.
Because you can go to bed at 8:30 pm and wake up at 4:30 am.
But if you were tossing and turning all night and unable to achieve any deep sleep.
Then it doesn’t count as a full 8 hours of sleep.
Sleep Tip 1: Keep It Cool
Sleeping in a hot, humid environment can impact your body’s ability to fall and stay asleep.
It’s a good idea to turn down the thermostat before you head to bed.
This will enable your body to cool down into a more relaxed state.
Sleep Tip 2: Avoiding The Light
Before we get ready to fall asleep our body begins to produce elevated amounts of melatonin.
Exposure to light can decrease our melatonin production making it harder to fall asleep.
A good rule of thumb that I try to use, is avoiding the use of electronic devices such as my phone or a t.v. screen within an hour of bedtime.
These devices give off a blue light that can hurt sleep when our eyes are exposed to it.
Sleep Tip 3: Avoid Caffeine
Avoiding caffeine before bed may seem like a no-brainer.
But even if you consume it hours beforehand it may still affect your sleep. Caffeine can take up to 10 hours to get out of your system.
As a rule of thumb try to avoid caffeine consumption within 6 hours of bedtime so it doesn’t have a great impact on your sleep.
If you work out late at night, going for a stimulant-free pre-workout may be a good idea if it’s impacting your sleep.
Sleep Tip 4: Control Your Bladder
To get quality sleep it’s important to avoid waking up constantly throughout the night.
For instance, waking up to use the bathroom a few times a night isn’t very optimal.
As it can take some time to truly fall back to sleep.
So it’s a good idea to avoid chugging a ton of water right before bed.
Hitting your water intake goals throughout the day is much more beneficial than trying to cram it all at the last minute.
Further, if you do get thirsty before bed, avoid restricting your water intake solely to avoid late-night poddy breaks.
Sleep For Them Gains!
In conclusion, sleep is a prime factor in building muscle.
Take it seriously and you will surely reap the benefits.
I hope this article and the tips I provided you will be beneficial in your fitness journey!
Now, what are you waiting for?
Go and sleep for them gains!