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Little Sleep Is Bad For Muscles

It makes perfect sense that too little sleep is bad for muscles and you will have physical implications. Too little sleep leads to a decline in hormone levels and a decrease in muscle size and performance. Age really doesn’t matter,  it affects you if you are young or old. Hormonal levels plummet after a week of interrupted sleep. The big three, testosterone, HGH, and IGF-1 levels all go down a great deal after only one week of sleep deprivation. These three are responsible for muscle growth, so a reduction in these would reduce muscle mass. This is exactly what happens according to researchers at Univerity of Sao Paulo Brazil.

The Study: Little Sleep Is Bad For Muscles

They took 3 groups of rats and categorized them as SD-4 days, SD-4 days than allowed to catch up 4 days, and SW, rats that slept whenever they chose. researchers took muscle mass measurements on the rats before and after the experiment. They measured tibialis anterior, calf muscle, testosterone concentration and coticosterone. Testosterone is your anabolic hormone and cortisol is your catabolic hormone.

The Results

After 4 only 4 days, the rats who slept the least lost nearly 20% of their muscle mass. The rats that were given 4 days of catch up sleep were nowhere near recovery. The researchers postulated that the cortisol increase was responsible for the decrease in testosterone and IGF-1 levels, resulting in loss of lean muscle mass.

Little Sleep Is Bad For Muscles: The Take Home Message

If you aren’t getting enough sleep, you are undermining your ability to both gain and/or maintain muscle. Get you sleep to make your gains. If you have issues with interrupted sleep, try using over the counter, natural sleep aids before you try harsh pharmaceuticals. Hi Tech Sleep Rx is a great product as are 2 scoops of Liquid Labs Nocturnus before bedtime.