This question has been asked and answered for decades. There are still conflicting opinions on how much sleep you need each night. The National Sleep Foundation has given guidance for the optimal amount of hours to sleep in a night. Generally, most adults should be getting between 7-9 hours of restful sleep a night.
Shooting for 7-9 hours of sleep each night is a great goal to have, but your personal sleep needs may be different based on your lifestyle. Some might need more or less. For example: if you're training multiple times a day and working long hours outside of the gym then you may require more rest.
Why Sleep is Important for Muscle Recovery
We all know that sleep is important, but how important is it really for our muscles' recovery? Well, the importance of sleep is so critical, in fact, that it has a direct effect on the most important part of muscle recovery: insulin. Insulin's role is to shuttle amino acids into cells to be used for protein synthesis and storage.
An article written by Dr. Portman mentions, "that it's not growth hormone or some mystery anabolic agent. I am talking about insulin, the body's ultimate recovery mediator."
You also release more growth hormone (GH) during sleep than you do at any other time. GH is a vital part of muscle repair, so if your sleep is disturbed the amount of GH released while you're sleeping drops significantly.
Researchers have suggested that reductions in sleep duration may inhibit muscle growth and recovery and lead to a catabolic environment. Catabolic environment means that your body is breaking down or losing overall mass.
Sleep Deprivation + Muscle Recovery
Not getting enough sleep will backfire on you since it will make your body more catabolic and will also delay muscle growth, especially if you're using a high-intensity training style such as lifting heavyweights.
Your body will produce less protein than it otherwise would. That's why you need to sleep for at least 7 hours a night if you want your muscles to grow properly and quickly.
Not getting a lot of sleep decreases the activity of protein synthesis pathways and increases the activity of degradation pathways, which favors muscle loss. This hinders recovery after muscle damage induced by exercise, injuries, or certain conditions associated with muscle breakdown.
Source: “6 Ways to Get Better Sleep for Muscle Recovery.”Fitness19, https://www.fit19.com/blog/6-ways-to-get-better-sleep-for-muscle-recovery.
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Enjoy this post-workout, protein packed, healthy alternative recipe!
PROTEIN PACKED PIZZA DOUGH
1 tbsp. of dry active yeast
1 tbsp. of stevia
1 cup of water (roughly 100 degrees in temperature)
2.25 cups of all purpose flour
2 scoops of Muscle Feast Unflavored Isolate
2 tbsp. of olive oil
½ tsp. of salt
1 tbsp. of dried oregano
1.) Add the yeast and stevia to the mixing bowl for a stand mixer. Whisk the water into the mixture until combined. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
2.) Using the dough arm attachment, turn the mixer to medium speed. Add the oil, protein, salt, and oregano.
3.) Slowly add the flour to the mixing bowl while running. Mix for about 45 seconds, or until a dough forms. Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl and plastic wrap in. Let it stand for 30 minutes to proof.
4.) To make a pizza crust, take half on the dough and place on a silicone mat. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a circle roughly 12 inches in diameter. To make a thick crust, roll the outsides of the dough over and pinch.
5.) Place your desired sauce and toppings on the pizza dough. Bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Pull from the oven when the crust is golden brown.