Gym Consequences of Not Getting Enough Sleep.

Wakey, wakey. I don't think I'd get too much sleep next to him.

Not getting enough sleep is one of my top 6 reasons why your muscle-building workout isn’t building muscle. But a new study by researchers at Stanford University goes one step further. The researchers found that extending sleep periods can dramatically (relatively speaking) improve the performance of athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike.

For athletes participating in roughly two months of sleep extension, 20-yard shuttle times improved from 4.71 seconds to 4.61 seconds, and 40-yard dash times decreased from 4.99 seconds to 4.89 seconds.

While those numbers might not sound significant to the typical treadmill trooper, in a sports world where 1/100ths of second means the difference between between gold and silver, a tenth of a second is like a lifetime.

According to lead researcher Cheri Mah:

Sleep duration may be an important consideration for an athlete’s daily training regimen. Furthermore, sleep extension also may contribute to minimizing the effects of accumulated sleep deprivation and thus could be a beneficial strategy for optimal performance.

Under the surface, it appears that muscle growth occurs during the deep, non-REM stages of sleep. In addition, deep sleep helps rejuvenate the immune, skeletal and nervous systems.

Athletes in the study slept as much as 10-hours – a true stretch for most of us and our busy lifestyles. Nonetheless, Mah believes that all of us can put the results of this study into practice by following these five recommendations:

  1. Make sleep a part of your regular training regimen. It’s just as important as eating protein.
  2. Extend nightly sleep for several weeks to reduce your sleep debt before competition.
  3. Maintain a low “sleep debt” by obtaining a sufficient amount of nightly sleep (seven to eight hours for adults, nine or more hours for teens and young adults)
  4. Keep a regular sleep-wake schedule, going to bed and waking up at the same times every day. Minimize weekend fluctuations and the like.
  5. Take brief naps to obtain additional sleep during the day, especially if drowsy.

How much sleep do you usually get? I average somewhere around 7 hours, though I like to aim for a full 8.

About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.

Comments

  1. Markie Marko says:

    Sleep is very important for fitness and for over all health. Good points and tips Davey ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. At most three or four hours at a time. Pain or discomfort affect me if I lay to long.

  3. davey…
    i guess i learned that sleep is “the silver bullet” for maintaining my health and when i was playing ice hockey, recovering fully after a weeks worth of games and practices….
    im medically retired now but i still sleep a lot… a couple of my friends think i sleep too much, but my immune system is shot to hell and lots of sleep seem to be keeping me alive, going to the gym and living my life….
    eating right, working out, yoga and a relatively stress free lifestyle are all important but getting enough sleep is the key….

    sweet dreams… david

  4. I have never been able to sleep at night but I have no problem sleeping throughout the daytime hours.I have to work in the day so I usually end up working and then being up all night.I do catch a few minutes of sleep here and there.I like to call them catnaps or energy boosts.I enjoyed the read and the pic Davey.

  5. Sleep is so underrated. I love a half hour nap after my workout and a meal. A true luxury.

  6. I’d like to sleep next to this guy!

  7. i usually get 6 hours or less, which is pretty bad since im in highschool with a full schedule, as well as after school physcial activities

Trackbacks

  1. […] most of us not getting enough sleep – and with sleep being critical for muscle recovery – the symptom of insomnia is of particular concern for many exercise […]

  2. […] adequate sleep helps us feel rested and energized. The downtime also gives our bodies a chance to recover from exercise and repair our muscles. But it’s also believed that there’s a link between adequate sleep and bodyweight […]