This video from the PictureFit YouTube channel explains how important sleep is for your body when you’re trying to build muscle. In fact, besides your actual workout, sleep is the most important thing. For starters, a lack of sleep means you have less energy to use at the gym during your workouts. You can still lift and run at your maximum, but you’ll get tired much quicker, which means fewer sets overall. Lack of sleep can increase the likelihood of injury too, and you won’t be lifting anything if you’re hurt.
Sleep is also necessary to balance your hormones. While you’re sleeping, your body releases anabolic hormones like testosterone and IGF-1, which are necessary for muscle growth. Lack of sleep can slow the rate your body releases these hormones and bring your bulking to a grinding halt. Additionally, sleep also brings down the levels of muscle breaking hormones, like cortisol, in your body. Basically, sleep helps you preserve muscle mass while you try to bulk or even lose weight.
Lastly, a lack of sleep can increase your levels of the appetite-raising hormone ghrelin while lowering your levels of the hormone leptin, which makes you feel full. This can make you crave snacks and food that’s outside of your strict muscle-building diet. So don’t just focus on your workout when you’re trying to get in shape—make sure you get great sleep too.