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Are 7 hours of sleep enough to build muscle?

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Sleep is essential and remains why some experience progress while others don't or why you put in so much effort at the gym and you don't get the result you're hoping for within a specific time. A study made in 2010 by the American College of Physicians included two groups: one group slept for 8.5 hours per night(which is the recommended sleeping time). The other group slept for 5.5 hours per night( which seems like the average sleeping time for most Americans). Both groups were placed on a regulated calorie for two weeks. The study's outcome was that both groups lost the same amount of weight because they consumed equal calories. But the difference is in the weight composition they lost: the group that got less sleep lost 60% more muscle mass and 55% fat than the group that had more sleep. This means that sleep doesn't only improve muscle recovery, growth, and retention but also fat loss.

The Importance of Sleep for Muscle building.

People have the misconception that they build muscles in the gym. This is not true. The truth is that your body requires a long and deep sleep after spending time in the gym to maximize muscle building. When you lift weights or you engage in one exercise or the other, like running, you're breaking down your muscles. But when you sleep, your body builds those muscles back up and makes them even stronger. This is because as you sleep, your pituitary gland secretes a growth hormone that helps to build and repair damaged muscle cells. As you sleep, carbohydrates are moved into the muscle cells, thereby providing energy to use amino acids for rebuilding damaged muscles.

Sleep is essential for muscle building because the more you sleep after every workout, the bigger your muscles. And less sleep could also result in reduced muscle mass. Also, the amount and duration of your sleep every night affects your mental health and emotional state. When you get enough sleep, it improves your mental and bodily functions so you perform better the next day. But when you're sleep-deprived, your stress level increases, and you'll be unable to maintain a healthy routine.


How A Lack Of Sleep Affects Muscle Growth

Glucose is a form of sugar that provides energy to the body. It is the only type of sugar that can be broken down and used for energy. All the other types of sugar that we take into our body are first broken down into glucose before they can be used to build muscles.
While you sleep, a process goes on in your body where blood glucose is stored in the muscle in muscle glycogen. Although glucose is in different locations in the body (the blood and liver), muscle glycogen is preferred over other locations because it produces more energy than when glucose comes from the blood. When you spend the whole day working out at the gym and you don't get enough sleep, then you can't get maximum muscle glycogen replenishment.

Human growth hormone(HGH) is another of the primary compounds in the body that repairs, build, and helps muscles to recover and grow. This hormone performs many functions, but among all, the body needs it for the amino acids in the protein we ingest to work. The best time for the body to produce the human growth hormone is during sleep. When you don't get enough sleep, the body cannot perform any of these functions well. Also, when you consume a mixture of protein and carbohydrates(known as mass fuel by bodybuilders) 30 minutes before and after a workout, they will help the body produce more HGH during sleep.

Lack of sleep doesn't only affect muscle growth; it also reduces muscle mass.

Are 7 hours of sleep enough to gain muscle?

Getting little sleep has a way of affecting the body's functions, although there are specific genes that give an individual the ability to thrive on little sleep.
A study by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) revealed that people with the NPSR1 gene mutation could survive for a day with 4-5.5 hours of sleep per night. And there are those with the DEC2 and ADRB1 gene mutations that only need 5-6 hours of sleep to thrive for the whole day. However, not many people are blessed with these short-sleeping genes. A study by UCSF researchers shows that the NPSR1 gene mutation is rare and only occurs in one out of 4 million people.

This means that it's hard for an average human to thrive on six hours of sleep or less. At the same time, getting 7 hours of sleep is unlikely to get you through the day. The genetically approved amount of sleep your body needs is approximately 8 hours and 10 minutes(+- 44 minutes or so) of sleep per night. Most people need about 7.5-9 hours of sleep every night. And about 13.5% of the population may get more than nine hours of sleep per night.

However, 7 hours of sleep is not far from the recommended range of sleeping time. It's best to increase your sleeping time to 8-9 hours if you want to gain muscle while sleeping. Seven hours of sleep is still manageable, especially if you have a busy schedule that doesn't allow you to sleep for eight long hours. So is 7 hours of sleep enough to gain muscle? The answer is yes; you can gain more muscles with 7 hours of sleep.



Why Do People Sleep?

It may help you maintain or lose weight

People that sleep for a short time have a high chance of weight gain and a higher body mass index (BMI). Lack of sleep increases the level of Ghrelin and reduces the levels of leptin. Ghrelin is a hormone in the body that's responsible for hunger, and leptin makes you feel full. An increase in Ghrelin may cause you to feel hungry or overeat. Sleep deprivation may cause you to eat food that contains sugar and fat because of its calorie content. Also, sleep deprivation can cause tiredness that makes you skip the gym or do other physical activities that can help to burn fat.

Can improve concentration and productivity

Sleep is essential for the brain to function better. Without proper sleep, your cognitive ability, concentration, and productivity will be negatively affected. A study revealed that doctors who are sleep deprived tend to make medical errors by 97%.

However, getting adequate sleep can help children perform better academically and improve brain performance in adults. Quality sleep also helps to improve problem-solving skills in both children and adults.

Can maximize athletic performance

Adequate sleep can improve athletic performance which is important for bodybuilding. It helps to improve fine motor skills, reaction time, muscular power, and muscular endurance. Sleep deprivation may make you prone to injury and reduce your motivation to exercise.

May it strengthen your heart

Sleep deprivation or low sleep quality increases your chances of developing heart disease. A study found that sleeping below 7 hours daily increases the risk of 13% dying from heart disease. Another study shows that a sleep duration lower than 7 hours increases the risk of mortality and heart disease. Sleep deprivation also leads to high blood pressure, and at the same time, excessive sleep in adults results in high blood pressure too.

It affects sugar metabolism and types two diabetes risk

Sleep deprivation is associated with a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. A study of more than 1 million participants reveals that short sleep, lesser than 5 hours or 6 hours, increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 48% and 18%, respectively. Sleep deprivation is believed to cause physiological changes like increased inflammation, hunger hormone changes, decreased insulin sensitivity, and behavioral changes, which all result in increased diabetes risk.

Poor sleep is linked to depression

Mental health concerns like depression are often associated with sleep deprivation and sleeping disorders. A study found that over 2,672 participants with anxiety and depression are more likely to experience low-quality sleep. In another study, people with sleeping disorders like insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea also have a high risk of depression.

Supports a healthy immune system

Sleep deprivation has an impact on immunological function. People who sleep for fewer than 5 hours per night are 4.5 times more likely to have a cold than those who sleep for more than 7 hours each night. Adequate sleep enhances your body's antibody responses to influenza vaccines.

Poor sleep is linked to increased inflammation

Inflammation in the body may be caused by a lack of adequate sleep. Sleep is necessary for the neurological system to function properly. It is linked to the sympathetic nervous system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which are both stress-response systems.

Sleep loss can activate inflammatory signaling pathways and cause higher levels of inflammation like interleukin -6 and C-reactive protein.

It affects emotions and social interactions

Sleep deprivation makes it hard to regulate emotions and relate with others socially. When you're tired and stressed out, you'll find it difficult to control your emotions and behaviors in front of others. Tiredness may also affect your ability to empathize with or respond to humor.

People who don't get adequate sleep tend to avoid social events, which may lead to loneliness. Getting sufficient sleep improves your social life and relationship with others.

It's your body's reset process

During sleep, your body undergoes different reset processes. It's while you're sleeping that your body can balance your moods and your hormones and reset your energy levels. Sleep helps your body heal damaged muscles and enables you to recover from intense exercise.
 

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