Most studies and doctors tell us to sleep 7-8 hours per night for a good, healthy life but what if you needed more than that for muscle growth and faster recovery after workouts? What if you could get better results without doing pretty much nothing but sleep more? Now wouldn’t that be something, right?
A Stanford University study tried to see if basketball players would improve performance if they slept 10 hours a night (after they’ve been sleeping between 6 to 9). The results showed that their performance increased, with faster sprint times, better shooting accuracy and they felt better both physical and mental wise.
It seems that sleeping 9-10 hours is somewhat similar to fasting and this acts like a real catabolic for muscle growth. And here’s another surprise? Remember how you’ve always heard you shouldn’t eat closer to bedtime? Well, what if you were to do the exact opposite? Some studies have shown that eating near bedtime might be helpful because your body then doesn’t have to focus on the starvation it feels during sleep and it can focus on a faster recovery time and on protein synthesis which will help build muscle mass.
How much sleep do we need?
In general, we should be fine with at least 7 hours of sleep but as this study shows, we might do much better overall if we slept more. Sleeping 9 to 10 hours could be the difference between 3 weekly workouts (because you’re too sore to workout more) and almost daily workouts. Results may vary and you’ll need to test things out to see what happens but it’s well worth testing considering you could increase muscle growth faster and recover sooner.
But I can’t sleep 10 hours because there’s not enough time for that!
We understand. Our lives are difficult and time flies really fast. Most of us feel there’s not enough time in the day for everything that needs to get done. If you say you haven’t enough time for a 10 hour sleep you are probably right.
But we’re not saying you should sleep 10 hours for the rest of your life. No. Just try it for a week and see how you feel. Get your things in order (for work and at home) and try catching more sleep. If 10 hours is a big jump for you as you’ve been sleeping 6 hours lately, just aim for 8 hours and go upwards from there. Go to bed a little early so you can sleep more and take note of how you feel.
We’ll talk more about sleep and how it affects us and our recovery times in the near future. Until then, let us know if you’ve tried sleeping more and how it worked for you? Do you feel better or worse? How many hours are you sleeping?