Is 6 Hours Of Sleep Enough To Build Muscle? Truth Revealed

  • By: Dave Moffat
  • Date: March 22, 2023
Is 6 Hours Of Sleep Enough To Build Muscle?

To build muscle, you need to make big changes to your lifestyle. Diet and exercise are especially important.

Many people forget that getting enough sleep is just as important as what they eat and how much they exercise when trying to get in shape.

Recent studies have shown that sleep is an important part of muscle growth and recovery. This means that getting enough sleep is important to reach your goals.

Notably, optimal outcomes tend to fall within the six to the eight-hour range, making it clear why proper rest should be a priority when working on toning up.

This article explains how sleep can help shape our bodies and suggests how much sleep we should get each night for the best results.

Why Do Humans Need Sleep?

Sleep has remained an essential aspect of human life, its importance widely acknowledged, though not entirely understood.

As scientists keep looking into this mysterious but important phenomenon, they come up with different theories to explain why it is so important to humans.

It is clear, though, that not getting enough sleep can lead to tiredness and make it harder to think and move.

Researchers have studied the role of sleep in human health for hundreds of years and have come up with both scientifically sound and speculative ideas about it.

As our understanding of this complex process continues to evolve, we must emphasize and respect the significance of sleep in our daily lives.

The Theory of Inactivity

The theory of inactivity gives a fascinating explanation for how humans’ sleeping habits have changed over time as a result of evolution.

This theory says that animals learned to sleep because they had to stay still and quiet when their lives were in danger.

Over time, as a result of natural selection, this inactivity has evolved into the sleep cycle we experience today.

While this theory explains why sleep came to be, it is crucial to acknowledge that, when it comes to ensuring safety, falling asleep can be counterintuitive. Maintaining consciousness and being alert is often a more advantageous strategy in situations where one is at risk.

So, while the theory of inactivity tells an interesting story about how sleep came to be, it also raises important questions about how sleep can affect a person’s safety in subtle ways.

The Theory of Energy Conservation

The theory of energy conservation holds that sleep plays a key role in the competition for and efficient use of energy resources, which is an important factor in natural selection.

It suggests that sleep enables our bodies to reduce both the demand for and consumption of energy during times when it is difficult to find food.

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Comparatively, when we are sleeping, our body temperature and caloric needs are much lower than when we are awake.

This gives rise to the idea that a major function of sleep is to aid us in conserving our energy resources.

Theories of Restorative Practices

Restorative practices underscore the vital role of sleep in promoting optimal health and well-being. During sleep, our bodies go through a lot of repairs that make us stronger physically and make our immune systems stronger.

In fact, it has been shown that animals who don’t get enough sleep get sick and die within a few weeks because their immune systems stop working.

This shows how important sleep is, since most muscle growth, tissue repair, protein synthesis, and the release of growth hormones happen during this time.

One critical aspect of sleep regulation lies in the accumulation of a compound called adenosine, which progressively builds up in our bodies as we stay awake and creates a “drive to sleep.”

While we sleep, our bodies get rid of any extra adenosine. This makes us feel refreshed and ready to go when we wake up.

In the end, getting enough restful sleep not only improves our ability to think but also helps our muscles grow and improves our health as a whole.

How a Sleep Deprivation Affects the Development of Muscle

Muscle growth depends on getting enough sleep, but many people may not know that not getting enough sleep can slow their progress.

When one does not receive an adequate amount of sleep, their body’s ability to recover and grow may be adversely affected, leading to results falling short of expectations.

Sleep plays a pivotal role in not only the development of muscle but also in determining the pace of one’s advancement towards their fitness goals.

Because of this, people need to make sure they get enough rest to help their muscles grow well and boost their overall progress.

Interfering With the Secretion of Hormones

We can’t say enough about how important sleep is for helping muscles grow, as it is a key part of how hormones that are needed for this process are released.

Growth hormones, typically released during stage three sleep, are vital for muscle development. But when people don’t get enough sleep, it throws off their normal sleep cycle and makes it harder for these hormones to be released.

Interestingly, sleep loss can also affect one’s appetite by increasing hunger, leading to the consumption of more calories, and potentially resulting in both weight and muscle mass gain.

Also, studies have shown that not getting enough sleep causes testosterone levels to drop and cortisol levels to rise, which hurts muscle growth and performance in more ways than one.

Therefore, a proper sleep schedule is essential for maintaining optimum hormone secretion and promoting overall well-being.

Keeping the Fat While Shedding the Muscle

The importance of adequate sleep in maintaining a healthy body composition cannot be overstated, as sleep deprivation has been shown to cause loss of muscle mass and decreased fat loss.

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In a 2010 study, individuals who slept only 5.5 hours per night experienced a staggering 55% less fat loss and 60% more muscle loss compared to those who enjoyed 8.5 hours of sleep.

In 2018, another study looked at what happened when 15 young men didn’t sleep for just one night. They found that acute sleep deprivation led to more protein breakdown in muscles and higher levels of proteins and metabolites that make adipose tissue store fat.

Furthermore, research indicates that sleeping for only 6 hours per night is insufficient for effective muscle building.

So, people who want to build lean muscle and lose extra fat need to make sure they get enough sleep.

Bringing Down Glycogen Levels

Glycogen levels play a crucial role in sustaining optimal performance and overall well-being, as glucose, a type of sugar, serves as the human body’s primary energy source.

During sleep, glucose gets changed into glycogen, which is then stored in our muscles for later use.

Because of this, not getting enough sleep could have a big effect on performance by reducing the amount of glycogen in the muscles.

A recent study that looked into this issue found that male athletes’ sprint performance and pacing strategies were greatly affected by not getting enough sleep.

To make sure your health and physical performance are at their best, it is important to get enough sleep and keep your glycogen levels in good shape.

How Many Hours of Sleep Are Need to Grow Muscle?

While it is commonly believed that six hours of sleep may be adequate, it has been found that this is not enough time to build muscle effectively.

To maximize muscle growth and maintain overall health, individuals should aim to attain between seven and nine hours of sleep each night.

Napping can help you relax, feel less tired, be more alert, and improve your mood and performance, among other things.

However, it is important to note that napping cannot replace regular sleep and should be utilized with caution.

Careless napping can make you feel groggy and lost, which could make it harder to sleep at night.

To achieve optimal results, naps should be taken before mid-afternoon and should be kept brief, ideally lasting around 10 to 20 minutes. By following these rules, you can effectively help your muscles grow and your overall health.

Tips On How To Get A Better Night’s Sleep

Increasing one’s exposure to bright light during the day

Bright light exposure in a person’s daily routine has been shown to improve the quality and length of sleep in a big way.

By exposing oneself to natural sunlight or artificially bright light for at least two hours per day, individuals can experience a significant improvement in their overall sleep patterns.

Research has demonstrated that this simple practice can result in a reduction of up to two hours in waking time during sleep, along with higher levels of sleep efficiency.

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Embracing this professionally recognized strategy can potentially lead to a more productive and healthier lifestyle by optimizing sleep and promoting general well-being.

Evening exposure to blue light should be decreased

Because we use electronic devices more and more in our daily lives, blue light exposure in the evening has become a growing concern.

Emanating from the screens of smartphones, tablets, and computers, blue light can disrupt our sleep cycle by deceiving the brain into perceiving it as daytime.

This makes it harder to sleep because it stops our bodies from making melatonin, a key hormone that controls our sleep-wake cycles.

To mitigate the potential harm of blue light exposure during the night, it is recommended to cease the use of electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime or activate the blue light blocker setting available in most modern gadgets.

By doing so, we can improve our sleep quality and overall well-being in today’s digital age.

No Coffee After 2 in the Afternoon

The role of caffeine in maintaining our energy levels and alertness throughout the day is well-known.

However, it is crucial to consider the timing of caffeine consumption, particularly avoiding it after 2 p.m.

This practice can significantly improve your sleep quality, as it takes roughly 6 hours for your body to metabolize caffeine.

Thus, by abstaining from coffee after 2 p.m., you allow your body sufficient time to process caffeine, ensuring that it does not interfere with your ability to fall asleep at night. Adopting this habit can lead to enhanced rest and, ultimately, a healthier lifestyle.

Is 6 Hours Of Sleep Enough To Build Muscle Summary

Poor sleep can be detrimental, especially for athletes. Quality and quantity of sleep play an important role in muscle gain, as do other factors like strength training, diet, and nutrition.

Research has proven that a mere six hours of sleep is not enough for muscle building. For optimal performance and health, several medical studies have recommended 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night, even with a busy schedule.

Failing to get enough quality sleep can result in poor physical performance and negatively affect overall health.

Dave Moffat
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Hi, I'm Dave Moffat the founder and Chief Editor of and certified International Personal Trainer and Certified Nutritionist. My passion has always been bodybuilding but with 15 years' experience in weight loss programs too, it's hard not to mention all that when you're working at your fitness level fullest (I hope). When Im not in the gym or spending time away from my family i often think about what advice would help others achieve theirs goals just like these inspired mine.