4 Reasons Why Quality Sleep is Key to Building Muscle


What a lot of people may not realize is that a very important part of gaining weight and building muscle mass is actually getting enough quality sleep every night.

Your muscles don't grow in the gym, they grow only when you are resting in the hours and days following a workout. So you need to make sure you give your body plenty of good, high-quality sleep to maximize recovery and repair.

Here are 4 good reasons why sleep is an underrated yet highly crucial aspect of bulking up:

So how exactly does sleep affect the muscle building process? Let's find out by listing what will happen if you DON'T get a good night's rest:


1. Your mental focus will decrease

By not giving yourself adequate sleep you are affecting your mental state. It's been proven that by just missing out on one night of decent sleep, you will find it hard to focus on completing some tasks.

This lack of mental strength will almost certainly affect your workouts, because you need a lot of focus and mental strength to push through a workout with heavy weights.


2. Physical performance will decrease

Lack of sleep also affects you physically as well as mentally. Without proper sleep you will be weaker and won't be able to summon as much energy during your workouts. This could mean you will use lighter weights, or won't do as many reps.

In your quest to building bigger muscles, this is not a good thing because you will be wanting to have the strength to lift the heaviest weights you can, and for the most amount of reps possible.

If you're tired because of your sleeping habits, then there's little chance of you increasing your weight and/or reps from the week before. Therefore you won't be pushing yourself hard enough to build bigger muscle mass.


3. Muscle repair and recovery will slow down

Like I mentioned before, your muscles grow whilst you are resting and sleeping. So by not giving yourself enough quality sleep your body isn't able to repair and recover your muscles as well as it could. This isn't good news if your goal is building big muscles!


4. Hormone levels will be affected

Another main drawback to lack of sleep is that important muscle building hormones will be negatively affected. I'm talking about such hormones as testosterone, growth hormone, cortisol and insulin.

These hormones play a major part in your body's ability to build muscle and burn fat. Let's take a look at them in a little more detail and how lack of sleep will affect them in a bad way.


  • Cortisol: This is a catabolic stress hormone which increase fat storage in the body and also aids in breaking down your hard-earned muscle tissue to use for energy.It has been proven that your body produces excess cortisol when you don't sleep enough, which is bad news for you!
  • Testosterone: Everyone knows testosterone is an important hormone for building big muscles. The more testosterone you produce, the more muscle you can gain. Lack of sleep decreases testosterone production.
  • Growth Hormone: Another very important hormone which serves the purpose of regenerating your body and helps to build and maintain muscle mass. Once again, skimping on enough quality sleep will decrease this hormone's production. Not good.
  • Insulin: Without enough insulin in your body, you're not able to maximize your intake of nutrients into your cells. Not getting enough sleep will cause your body to increase insulin production, which may sound good, but that can lead to overproduction of insulin which ain't good. If your body produces too much insulin it can cause diabetes, excess fat storage, or even heart disease.


Ok, I'm pretty sure by now you understand the importance of sleep for building big muscles. But how much sleep do you actually need every night?

That depends on the individual, some people need more than others. But in general I would aim for at least 7-8 hours a night if you're training hard. But if you feel you need more, say 9-10 hours, then go right ahead.

With the right amount of sleep you should feel fresh everyday and ready to hit the gym at 100% intensity. Only then can you maximize your gains and build bigger muscles.

But in saying that also keep in mind that it's normal to feel tired in the days following an intense workout, especially after leg day!




Ready to Start Your Highly-Effective Muscle Gain Program?


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Option B: Follow An Existing Pre-Made Program

Don't want to spend the time planning and fine-tuning the perfect mass gain program and rather follow a pre-made, plug-and-play program that's already been proven to work for countless other hardgainers (including me)? These are my hand-picked, top-recommended downloadable muscle gain programs for 2018 that will remove the guesswork and endless research, and stack the odds in your favor due to the added convenience of having step by step routines, meal plans and exercises that you simply need to follow and stick to.


Option C: Find a Good In-Person Trainer Who Understands Muscle Building

I personally don't do 1-on-1 training with clients for various reasons (mainly 'cause I run a business which takes up all of my time, and plus I travel a lot which isn't ideal for training people), but if you have the money to spend on this (PTs can quickly add up in costs) and you care about getting results then ensure they understand the science behind muscle gain, fat burning, supplementation, nutrition, etc, and most importantly pick one who practices what they preach and has similar results to what you want (and if you're a hardgainer, ideally you'll want a trainer who was once a hardgainer themselves and managed to build muscle successfully otherwise they may not understand the best course of action for you or worst-case they'll falsely tell you that you can't build the physique of your dreams; don't listen).


Whichever path you take, if you're a hardgainer/skinny noob who's a little sceptical that you can actually build the ripped and muscular physique of your dreams, remember this: no matter what anyone tells you, your physique destiny is 100% in your own hands. Don't fall victim to the illusion that being a hardgainer or [insert excuse] will hold you back, because it won't if you have smart strategies and stick to them for the long term. You CAN overcome average genetics and build a powerful, strong body that will reap endless advantages for your health and life.

To your success,

- Julz

Owner/Operator, Building-Muscle-Guide.com

Natural Bodybuilding & Health Author Since 2008

Mad-Scientist of Hardgainer-to-Hero Transformations for 12 Years & Counting

Last and Definitely Least: Certified Fitness Instructor (Australia)