You don’t need to increase your workouts or your intensity. You don’t need a new coach or program. You can keep your macros just the way they are.
Just get more sleep.
When you sleep, there are several things that happen to increase your body’s affinity to grow muscle, reduce inflammation, and improve recovery.
Things to know:
- Cortisol is your body’s stress hormone.
- Testosterone is your body’s growth hormone.
- IGF-1 is a major hormone related to lean mass growth.
- HGH is a major hormone related to recovery and lean mass growth.
Let’s take a look at how sleep affects each of these…
- Cortisol is catabolic (breaking down) and works on a bell curve decreasing as we sleep, slowly increasing the closer we get to waking up.
- Testosterone is anabolic (building up) and works on an opposite bell curve as cortisol.
- IGF-1 increases during sleep.
- IGF-1 improves lean mass
- HGH increases during sleep.
- HGH had been shown to aid in muscle growth
When you combine these factors with a better understanding of oxidative priority and how the body uses protein, you can see that your body isn’t chewing up muscle while you sleep.
In fact in an environment with adequate fuel (preferably fat) available, muscle mass should be maintained and could possibly increase. This is on top of the benefits you get with reduced inflammation and better recovery.
If you aren’t seeing progress in your training, health, or body composition…..take at look at your sleep habits. They are probably keeping you from being your best.