How Many Hours of Sleep Should a Bodybuilder Get?

We all enjoy a good work out session. We pour our hearts out because we think that this will make our bodies grow. Sadly, this is wrong! As a bodybuilder, the most important factor to consider is the hours you put to sleep. Otherwise, your performance and results will suffer!
So, how many hours of sleep should bodybuilders have? Well, to answer this question, I’ll first help you understand the importance of rest when it comes to muscle repair and growth as well as the role of the brain. After consulting the wealth of information at try mattress, here’s what my take on the issue:

Sleep Repairs Worn Out Muscles

The time spent while sleeping is quite catabolic. Muscle tissues are broken down to give the stomach the right amount of amino acids. This is because as you sleep, your body is in a state of starvation.
Of course, you can’t gain mass in this way. So, I discovered that one way of dealing with this effect is by eating a lot of protein before going to sleep, mostly, Casein. Growth hormones are produced even if you are deep asleep. Studies go on to show that the body produces almost 70% of your growth hormones every day.

You’re Recharging Your Brain!

As you sleep, you’re only allowing your brain to rest. The science behind this theory is quite impressive. I found out that a neurotransmitter called Adenosine produces ATP, telling the mind to have a break. As these concentrations rise and fall, your brain is resting.
So, because it’s not alert, it gets time to recharge. As a bodybuilder, this is crucial to your ultimate success. It helps you to be sharp in the gym and gives you the motivation to keep working out!

The Stages of Sleep

I hope that you’ve understood why rest is essential for a bodybuilder. Now, let us talk about the sleeping time. The first thing I need to mention is that our brains follow specific sleeping cycles. These stages are called REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and non-REM. Each can last anywhere between 90 and 100 minutes.
So, what is REM? I’ll borrow from Wikipedia and say, “it’s a unique cycle of sleep in all birds and mammals.” It’s characterized by the random movements of our eyes. Other factors which play a huge role include low muscle tone in all parts of your body and the quality of your dreams.

  • Stage 1 - the transitional phase between the sleep and wake cycles. Note that it’s the shortest stage of the four that I’m about to mention. It’s also part of the non-REM sleep.
  • Step 2 - this is also part of the non-REM sleep. The only difference is that it takes about 45 to 60% of the time you spend while sleeping.
  • Stage 3 and 4 - These are non-REM stages of sleep and take up about 40% of your sleeping time. They are the deepest parts of your sleep and where the recharging of the brain occurs.
  • REM - during this stage, heart rate, brain activity and your level of breathing also increase. It’s the stage filled with high brain activity.

Tips on How to Get Better Sleep as a Bodybuilder

Any bodybuilder will tell you that he or she sleeps to recover from a tedious workout session. No one thinks that it does a whole lot in transforming the body. Shockingly, during the 3rd and 4th stages of sleep, our bodies are totally at rest and muscles are being repaired. There’s also high brain activity characterized by the REM stage.
With that said, as a bodybuilder, you’ll need to follow these steps to get enough rest throughout the night:
  • Relax in the evening
  • Sleep under the right room temperatures, preferably around 60 degrees
  • Take a hot shower before you ‘sink’ into your bed
  • Avoid taking alcohol and caffeine before you sleep
  • Do not oversleep because this confuses the brain as it tries to adapt to various sleeping cycles.

From the above information, I can tell you that 7 to 10 hours of sleep are all that a bodybuilder needs! However, you should get around 40% of deep sleep. If you don’t, then you’ll probably experience slow growth, and your mental awareness will suffer.


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