Bodybuilders have known for the last fifty years that part of avoiding the problems of over-training is done by sleeping correctly. Sleep deprivation has been a problem that many people overlook and the result is that on average man today in this fast paced world sleeps less than the average male did 100 years ago.
If you want to lose fat or gain muscle you need to first make sure that you are sleeping correctly and that means the quality of the sleep you are getting. The main reason why sleep is so vitally important is because it regulates your hormones that in turn regulate your fat metabolism which controls your ability to process food more quickly and burn more fat.
Science has now proven sleep deprivation decreases your leptin levels and increases levels of ghrelin that are known to slow down your metabolism. If you are in the process of eating more often to increase the speed of your metabolism then you will be working against yourself by not sleeping.
When you are sleep deprived it works against you in more than one way. The first is you eat more and secondly you burn fewer calories. Probably the most troubling part of all is you burn your muscle instead of burning fat.
If you are trying to diet while in a sleep deprived state your total burn will be twice the amount of muscle and only half the amount of fat. You need to be a lot more protective of your sleeping hours if your goal is to gain lean muscle and lose fat. If you don’t get the sleep your body needs your workout and diet efforts will be in vain because you are burning that muscle you work hard for at the gym.
Research that has recently been done on the subject of sleep deprivation now shows that your running speed drops by an average of 5% if you don’t get enough sleep. You will also lose have a decrease of roughly 9% in your athletic abilities. Depending on what you do this can mean a 9% drop in your basketball shooting percentage or 9% decrease in you lifting efforts.
The bodies level of cortisol also increases greatly when you are sleep deprived which in turn makes muscle gain harder and your risk for burn out and overtraining increases. Studies have also found links with growth hormones being affected by sleep deprivation however it is not very clear and has not been specifically reported in a study yet.
It is all about time management and the experts say that if you wake up with the help of an alarm every morning chances are you suffer from sleep deprivation. You need to plan your sleeping time correctly and allow your body to get the correct amount of sleep that it needs so that you can wake up on your own without an alarm.