How Sleep Helps With Muscle Growth

Sleep is a crucial task required not only to recharge the human body, but for several reasons beyond that, as per the Sleep Foundation. Aside from allowing us to rest, both physically and mentally, it also helps keep us healthy and free of illness. Additionally, it helps the brain process thoughts, concentrate, and retain memories.

While sleep is essential for all people, it can be especially significant for athletes. WebMD noted that getting good sleep can help improve an athlete's speed, accuracy, and reaction time. It is also important in endurance sports like cycling and running, said the Cleveland Clinic

Even though sleep is pivotal for athletic performance, the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance suggested many people are not getting enough. They noted that elite athletes need about 8.3 hours of sleep in order to feel rested. However, most of the athletes studied, a whopping 71%, were not meeting this goal.

Why sleep is so vital for muscle growth and repair

When it comes to muscle growth and repair, sleep helps with the production of the human growth hormone (hGH), as per The hGH is released when we go into a deep sleep, also known as stage 3 of non-REM sleep. We become very relaxed, which helps with pain reduction. However, if we don't sleep enough, hGH is not released as well. Some people might even feel sorer when they wake up.

Healthline explained that hGH helps maintain, build, and repair several different tissues, including muscle tissue. It also helps with fat burning and metabolism.

Muscle repair is a vital part of building new muscle mass, according to Medical News Today. The outlet explained that muscles grow larger when they are challenged with more resistance or weight because it causes tearing of the muscle fibers. When the body repairs this damage, the muscles grow bigger and stronger, but without enough hGH, it becomes harder to build muscle and heal injuries.